Professor Bill Bowring’s guest this week on “25 questions” is Nikolai Shchur (pictured right), a prominent Russian human rights activist from Chelyabinsk region, where he lives in the town of Shezhinsk. Nikolai Shchur is the head of the Urals Human Rights Group and the founder of the first human rights organisations in Chelyabinsk. For 6 years he was a member of the Public Oversight Commission for the Protection of Human Rights in places of detention. He is the author of reports on the monitoring of torture in the penitentiary system, and the slave labour of prisoners. He has long been involved in the study of contaminated areas and the protection of the rights of people affected by man-made disasters and arbitrary treatment by the authorities. At present he is the leader of 4 NGOs, which he set up together with his wife Tatiana. He was named one of the Europe’s Heroes of 2005 and 2007 by Time magazine. You can view the video on YouTube or below.