Who We Are

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Director, Barrister – Ousman Babir Noor

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Ousman founded the Habeas Corpus Project in July 2014. He completed his undergraduate LLB/Law degree from the University of London and postgraduate MSc from the University of Oxford before completing the Bar Vocational Course and being called to the bar at Lincoln’s Inn in July 2010. He completed pupillage at Garden Court Chambers, a top-tier set for Immigration and Asylum law, and has been practising as a barrister since then. He has always had a strong passion for human rights having worked in the Capital Post Conviction Project, Louisiana, USA defending those awaiting capital punishment on death-row for several months. He continues to provide pro-bono advice on immigration and asylum law every week to Toynbee Hall, the UK’s oldest law centre and works with Reprieve, an international human rights organisation, on challenging the death penalty in Pakistan.

Caseworker – Freddy Russell

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Freddy joined the Habeas Corpus Project in July 2015. He graduated from the LSE in 2013 with a degree in social anthropology, where he studied legal anthropology, migration, and human rights. Since leaving higher education, he has developed a passion for working with people deprived of their liberty. After interning for the Anne Frank Trust prison project and the Howard League for Penal Reform, he joined the Habeas Corpus Project as an intern and now works full-time, assisting the Director with casework and working towards becoming an OISC level 1 advisor.






Chair of Trustees – Bethan Rogers

Bethan RogersBethan has practiced as a barrister for 5 years dealing with criminal law, detention and bail. She also volunteers at Liberty to assist in providing advice to members of the public whose human rights and civil liberties have been infringed. Her practice has given her a unique insight in to the effect of detention on vulnerable members of society including children, drug users and those suffering from mental illness. This experience fuels a passion to challenge those in unlawful detention in immigration detention centers.





Trustee – Dr. Lea Sitkin

Lea SitkinDr. Lea Sitkin is a Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Westminster. She has recently completed her DPhil in Criminology at the University of Oxford, which looked at the criminalisation and marginalisation of immigrant communities in the UK and Germany. In particular, her research looked at the potentially harmful effects of immigration controls in these two contexts. Lea has also worked with a number of NGOs, including volunteering as a detention support worker for immigration detainees in Campsfield House, Oxford.




Trustee – Shaheen Mamun

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Shaheen is a Senior Immigration Lawyer and Practice Manager at Milestone Solicitors. He is also registered as a Level One Accredited Caseworker under the Law Society Immigration & Asylum Scheme and is currently also undertaking his Training Contract in accordance with SRA regulations. Shaheen has maven expertise on Immigration Law with particular specialism on matters concerning the Points Based System, Detention, Human Rights (Article 8 and outside Immigration Rules), EEA, Judicial Review and Asylum. He is also proactively involved within his local community in Holborn & Kings Cross and is an active member of the Society for Asian Lawyers, Human Rights Lawyers Association and Aspiring Solicitors. Shaheen graduated from the University of Westminster with the Solicitors Exempting LLB Honours degree in 2014.


Trustee – Martha Marcuson

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Martha graduated from the University of Cambridge and worked as a Fundraising and Casework Assistant at the Habeas Corpus Project from July to November 2015. Her time at the HCP gave her an in-depth insight into the shocking injustice, inhumanity and lack of accountability at the heart of the UK’s immigration detention system. She is passionate about continuing to challenge unlawful detention as a Trustee of the charity. Martha has worked and volunteered in a range of organisations promoting social justice, including Save the Children, the Citizens Advice Bureau and Body & Soul. She recently joined the Communications team of Global Witness, an international NGO working to expose and combat environmental and human rights abuses driven by the exploitation of natural resources and corruption in the global political and economic system.



Trustee – Richard Bonner

richard.bonnar_chr.jpgRichard  graduated in Law from Cambridge University in 1984  and has been a partner at DLA Piper, a leading global law firm, for 16 years. Richardis a well – recognised IT and outsourcing lawyer with experience of dealing with major Government and corporate organisations.  He is a former member of DLA Piper’s International Board. Growing up in Northern Ireland, Richardhas had a longstanding interest in human rights issues and is proud of the association of his firm with the Habeas Corpus Project. Richard has been involved in a number of DLA Piper’s pro bono projects, including teaching a Commercial Law school for East African Government lawyers.




Anna Ashford

PhotoAnna is studying for a BASc Arts and Sciences at University College London. She focuses her studies on issues of politics and migration, whilst also studying Arabic and psychology. Anna has worked with asylum seekers and refugees since 2011, when she taught conversation English with Cardiff Student Action for Refugees. Subsequently she still works with Student Action for Refugees at UCL, as well as volunteering with the British Red Cross Young Refugee Service. Becoming increasingly aware of the injustices rife within the immigration system, exceptionally in regards to detention, Anna now volunteers for the Habeas Corpus Project. She has the interest of pursuing a GDL course after graduating.



Dina Mansour

Dina Mansour - Bio Photo

Dina Mansour is an LL.M student at UCL specializing in Human Rights. She graduated from Rutgers University, USA in 2014 with a dual degree in Political Science and Women and Gender Studies and a minor in Social Justice. Throughout her time at university, Dina volunteered and interned with several local and international women’s rights organizations and projects focusing primarily on gender based violence, militarism and conflict situations. During her gap year she worked with refugees and asylum seekers as an intern at the UNHCR Cairo, Egypt Regional Office.  Through the LL.M, she hopes to gain the knowledge necessary to navigate the legal side of the issues she is passionate about and be in a better position to demand accountability and furthermore, solutions to violations of human rights.


Lea Main-Klingst

PhotoLea Main-Klingst is a LL.M candidate at University College London, with a focus on Human Rights. She graduated from Maastricht University, Netherlands in 2014 with a bachelor in European Law and a minor in Human Rights. She has worked for human rights NGOs in Washington DC, India and Berlin, working on issues ranging from gender equality, to empowerment of disenfranchised castes and interning with Human Rights Watch in her gap year. She is also a founding-member of a NGO establishing a civic sea rescue for refugees in distress in the Mediterranean. She hopes that her education and her work at Habeas Corpus will deepen her skills and understanding of right’s violations, as she later on wishes to pursue the bar.


Previous Staff/Volunteers

Memmi Rasmussen


Memmi Rasmussen graduated from the London School of Economics in 2013 with a Bsc. In Social Anthropology. Her goal is to combine anthropological insight with legal practice to be in the best position to defend the rights of immigrants and minority groups. To this end she is planning to pursue a law degree in the United States from this September. Working at the Habeas Corpus Project has given her an understanding of the tortuous and arbitrary nature of immigration and asylum proceedings in the UK and she is pleased to be able to encourage accountability in these areas.





Rosie Gibbs


Rosie graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies in 2014 with a BA in Social Anthropology. Throughout her degree she pursued an interest in the themes of migration and diaspora with her dissertation exploring historical and contemporary attitudes towards migrants in the UK, particularly in relation to Islam. Whilst at University she became involved with the SOAS Detainee Support Group and as a result of working closely with individuals in detention came to fully appreciate the marginalisation and vulnerability they faced. Recognising the fundamental role played by lawyers in providing access to justice for those caught in the UK’s immigration system, Rosie began her GDL in September 2014 with the hope of qualifying as a solicitor in the future.


Online Content Manager – Farooq Yousaf

FarooqFarooq Yousaf is working as an online content manager at the Habeas Corpus Project. He recently completed his Masters in Public Policy and Conflict Studies from University of Erfrurt, Germany. Along with that, he has also consulted, and still consulting, a number of think tanks such as Centre for Research and Security Studies, Centre for Public Policy Research, Peace Education and Development Foundation and Forum for International Relations Development. He also writes for various national and international news sources. He tweets as @faruqyusaf and can be reached at [email protected].