About

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I live in Berlin and work for Human Rights Watch, a human rights organisation. I’m a writer too, with occasional pieces for German and British newspapers, some of which are included on this site.

At HRW I lead a team of 24 people working on human rights in Europe, the former Soviet Union, Turkey and the Balkans. My profile on the HRW website is here. I write regularly about human rights. My most recent human rights articles are here.  

Before joining HRW in 2011 I was a reporter and editor with the Financial Times for eleven years, from 2000 onwards, in Manila, Berlin and London.  A few of my articles from this time are on this site. Others can be found at www.ft.com (behind a paywall).

I’ve also worked for Deutsche Welle (Cologne, Germany) and Asia Monitor Resource Centre  (Hong Kong). I wrote a book many years ago, published in 1994, on trade union issues in Japan. Coping with the Miracle: Japan’s unions explore new international relations (Pluto Press, London).

! was born in 1964 and grew up in Oxford, England. I’ve lived in Germany most of my adult life, with short spells in Hong Kong, the Philippines and London. I became German in 2017 as a reaction to Brexit. I’m also still British. I’ve written about becoming German in the Guardian and die tageszeitung.

I’m married to Prof Dr Anke Hassel. Thanks to our daughter Helen Williamson for the nature pictures, and to our son Lucas Hassel for helping create this site.