Masha Lisitsyna is managing policy officer on legal remedies for torture for the Open Society Justice Initiative. Lisitsyna works on anti-torture litigation before international human rights bodies. She assists the Justice Initiative’s partners in their domestic and international litigation, and engages in research and advocacy efforts for legal reforms that would prevent and bring accountability for torture.
Prior to joining the Justice Initiative, Lisitsyna served as a Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch focusing on civil and political rights in Turkmenistan, the rights of Uzbek refugees, and the rights of migrant workers in Russia and Kazakhstan. Prior to her work at Human Rights Watch, Lisitsyna cofounded and served for more than 10 years as the executive director of the Youth Human Rights Group, one of the main human rights NGOs in Kyrgyzstan. While at YHRG, she developed a human rights monitoring program focused on custodial institutions including orphanages, detention centers, and mental health institutions.
In 2005, Lisitsyna served as a member of Kyrgyzstan’s Constitutional Council, the body convened to work on constitutional amendments. Lisitsyna holds a JD from Kyrgyz-Russian Academy of Education. She has been recognized by the World Economic Forum in 2009 as a Young Global Leader.