Hugh Williamson, director of the Europe & Central Asia division, oversees the organisation’s work in western and eastern Europe, the Balkans, Turkey, Central Asia, the south Caucasus, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. He oversees issues including migration and discrimination in Europe, torture and other abuses under authoritarian rule in Central Asia, and impunity and the rule of law in Russia.
Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Williamson worked for 11 years as a correspondent from the Manila and Berlin bureaus of the Financial Times. He served as the Europe news editor during the 2008-2009 financial crisis and most recently as the paper’s deputy foreign editor. He has written and commented in the international media, including on the BBC and CNN, on European politics, development issues and the international political economy, business ethics and corporate responsibility, and the politics of the human rights movement.
Williamson has worked for other non-governmental organisations, including a labour rights group in Hong Kong. He has degrees from Manchester University and the London School of Economics. He speaks German.