Mary Page talks with Vyacheslav Bakhmin, co-chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group and chair of the board of the Sakharov Centre. One of Russia’s leading experts on civil society and human rights, in the Soviet era he was a dissident and participant in the human rights movement. He was one of the organisers of the Working Commission to Investigate the Use of Psychiatry for Political Purposes that was founded in 1977. From 1980 he served four years in a Soviet labour camp for his activities. In the 1990s he worked in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he headed the Directorate for International Humanitarian and Cultural Cooperation and he later worked as executive director of the Moscow Office of the Open Society Institute.