Eleanor Rose, Investigations Editor
Eleanor previously worked for the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) on the Panama Papers global investigation. She also worked on The Khadija Project, continuing the work of jailed Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova, which won the IRE’s Tom Renner Award.
Eleanor lived in Bosnia for three years where she was correspondent for the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and reported from Kosovo, North Macedonia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Lebanon for a range of outlets including Bellingcat, POLITICO Europe and Reader’s Digest International Editions.
Later, as part of the Evening Standard’s special investigation into modern slavery in London, Eleanor revealed how traffickers prey on homeless people and other vulnerable groups. Then, she helped show who wrote death threats to British MPs for an ITV Exposure documentary. She is a previous winner of the PTC’s New Consumer Journalist Award.
Mirren Gidda, Investigative Journalist
Prior to joining Liberty, Mirren worked as the storytelling and digital media manager at the international human rights organisation The Syria Campaign, where she worked to uncover human rights abuses in Syria and tell them to a wider audience.
An award-nominated journalist, she began her career as an intern at TIME magazine before taking up a place on the BBC’s Journalism Training Scheme where she was trained in television and radio reporting. From there she joined Newsweek magazine where she reported on conflict and human rights abuses from countries worldwide, securing six cover stories. Mirren then moved into documentary journalism, presenting an episode of Channel 4’s award-winning investigative series Unreported World, before studying for her MA in Terrorism, Security, and Society. Outside of Liberty, she volunteers as a visitor for people held in immigration detention.
Mirren’s focus areas at Liberty include policing and counterterrorism, and she retains an interest in the UK’s prison system.
Aaron Walawalkar, Investigative Journalist
Aaron was previously the news editor at independent media outlet EachOther, helping shape its coverage of UK human rights issues ranging from systemic racism to school exclusions. He was also a freelance reporter for the Guardian and the Observer, covering national news and producing exclusive stories on homelessness and disability rights.
In 2019, he won a Google News Initiative-sponsored award for his work at the Ilford Recorder in east London leading a year-long newspaper campaign focussing on rough sleeping. In coordination with the Bureau Local’s Dying Homeless project, he revealed that at least 10 people had died homeless in the borough of Redbridge in the year to October 2018. Six were undocumented Indian migrants stuck in a bureaucratic limbo.
Aaron has a keen interest in migration, homelessness and policing.
Jessica Purkiss, Investigative Journalist
Prior to working for Liberty Investigates, Jessica Purkiss ran the Shadow Wars project at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. There she focused on military operations in Afghanistan, working with various publications to uncover concerning trends in civilian harm. In 2020, a story she worked on in partnership with The New York Times was a finalist for Amnesty’s investigation prize.
Jessica also spent three years reporting from the Middle East. She began her journalism career as an intern at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, writing press releases from the court in Tanzania. She has an MA in Human Rights and Genocide Studies.
Editorial Advisory Board
Anne Koch has been the Program Director at the Global Investigative Journalism Network since 2017. She worked as a broadcast journalist and executive for more than 20 years, mostly for the BBC, before becoming a director at anti-corruption NGO Transparency International. Her award-winning career in BBC journalism included service as deputy director of the English World Service, executive editor of the BBC’s flagship daily radio news and current affairs programs and editor of the World Tonight. She has produced or edited over a hundred documentaries and current affairs programs. At TI, she served as director of Europe and Central Asia, overseeing nearly 50 independent chapters. She is also a trustee at London charity Time and Talents.
Becky Gardiner worked as a journalist for 25 years on national newspapers and magazines. She was at the Guardian from 1998, when she joined as Women’s Editor, until 2015. She held a number of senior editorial positions there, including Education editor, launch editor of the Family section, Deputy editor of G2 and, most recently, Comment Editor. Before working at the Guardian she edited the Big Issue for two years, was deputy editor on the Independent on Sunday’s Real Life supplement, and a freelance writer for various newspapers. She is now a senior lecturer at Goldsmiths, university of London, where she co-convenes the MA Journalism programme.
Chrissie Giles has been a writer and editor for over 17 years. She is Global Health Editor at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London.
Previously, she worked for Wellcome, one of the world’s largest health foundations, where she was Editor of the award-winning longform publication Mosaic (mosaicscience.com). At Mosaic, she championed up-and-coming writers from around the world, including Shayla Love, Alex Riley, Josh Sokol and the late Lyra McKee.
Giles studied Biochemistry at university and completed a Master’s in Science Communication at Imperial College, London.
Gervase de Wilde is a media law barrister who practises at the leading specialist chambers 5RB. He acts for both claimants and defendants, providing advocacy and advice in a wide range of disputes. He regularly acts for claimants seeking to protect privacy and data protection rights, particularly online, including by obtaining urgent injunctions. He also frequently acts for the media, including at various times all of the country’s leading newspaper groups and broadcasters, in relation to open justice and reporting the Courts in high-profile civil and criminal litigation.
In addition, his practice involves providing pre-publication advice to newspapers, book publishers and TV companies. Before converting to the law, Gervase worked as an arts journalist, both as a freelancer and as a staff journalist and editor at a broadsheet newspaper, and he continues to have a keen interest in journalism and the arts.
Grey is Advocacy Director at Liberty. They oversee Liberty’s strategic litigation, policy work and campaigns, advice and information, and our investigative teams, who all work together to protect rights and hold the powerful to account.
Prior to joining Liberty in July 2019, Grey was Legal Director at the Equality and Human Rights Commission. They have specialised in human rights, equality, and public law litigation, advisory and policy work since qualifying as a solicitor in 2002.
Grey trained in private practice at the legal aid front line, mainly focussed on community care and asylum support cases. Subsequently they worked at the Public Law Project and then the Equality and Human Rights Commission litigating on a broad range of human rights issues in the domestic courts and the ECHR, and advising on legislative change proposals. During that time they also worked with the UN treaty bodies, particularly the Committee Against Torture, and a number of partner organisations.
Martha is a human rights lawyer and campaigner. Before joining Liberty she practised at Doughty Street Chambers, defending access to justice, challenging state failures and fighting for the rights of women, children and disabled people.
She has worked with bereaved families seeking answers after loved ones died in state care, victims of rape, domestic violence and trafficking who have been failed by the police, and protestors and journalists whose freedoms have been under attack.
Martha was previously a lawyer at Mind and the Public Law Project and she has written books about human rights, policing and disability rights. She is an Associate Tenant of Doughty Street Chambers and a Visiting Professor at Goldsmiths University.
Richard Norton-Taylor was the Guardian first European correspondent before returning to Britain to combat official secrecy, subsequently concentrating on the activities of security and intelligence agencies. He left the Guardian in 2016 after more than forty years on the newspaper.
He won the Freedom of Information Campaign Award in 1986 and again in 1994. He jointly received Liberty’s Human Rights Campaign of the Year award in 2010 for investigating “Britain’s complicity in the use of torture”. He is currently vice chair of Liberty.
His books include: Blacklist, The Inside Story of Political Vetting; In Defence of the Realm ? The case for Accountable Security and Intelligence Services; and Truth is A Difficult Concept, based on evidence revealed by the Scott arms-to-Iraq inquiry.
His award- winning plays, include Half the Picture (based on evidence to the Scott inquiry)The Colour of Justice (taken from evidence to the Macpherson inquiry into the murder of the black teenager, Stephen Lawrence); Bloody Sunday (the winner of an Olivier award); Called to Account (a hearing on Tony Blair’s decision to invade Iraq); Tactical Questioning (on the killing by British troops of the Iraqi hotel worker, Baha Mousa; and Chilcot (based on the inquiry into Britain’s role in the invasion of Iraq). His latest book, The State of Secrecy, is published by I.B. Tauris, am imprint of Bloomsbury.
Tanya Joseph is a marketing and communications professional who has a particular expertise in behaviour change. She is the architect of This Girl Can, a campaign designed to encourage more women and girls to get active.
She has spent her entire professional life in communications, starting as a journalist before becoming a press secretary initially to the UK’s Lord Chancellor and then the Prime Minister, a role she held for more than four years.
In 2003 she left the Civil Service to join the world of consultancy including senior roles at international agency Grayling, in-house at Tesco, Sport England and Nationwide Building Society. . She is currently running her own communications consultancy.
Tanya is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and vice-chair of the Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights. Tanya is also on the board of Liberty and a Trustee of the Thomson Foundation.