The Accountability Unit operates in non-hierarchical decentralised teams. Team members reciprocally contribute to all areas of our work including management, legal, administrative, and partnership aspects of the NGO. This multi-competency approach to our work facilitates team development, idea-sharing, effective collaboration, ownership and professionalism. Our current team members and their bios are provided below.          



Aarif is a graduate of the University of Oxford and the University of Bologna where he obtained a Master's degree in Human Rights. He qualified and practiced as a lawyer with the corporate law firm, Slaughter and May where he also was seconded as Judicial Assistant to the Lords Justices of the Court of Appeal.

As a human rights practitioner, Aarif has worked with Public International Law and Policy Group in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the European Court of Human Rights, Rights Watch (UK), and most recently as Legal Officer at Democratic Progress Institute.

Aarif has conducted litigation, advocacy, research and mentoring on international human rights and humanitarian law issues related to a number of countries and, in particular, work relating to gender based rights.

Aarif continues to act as a consultant on gender based rights and conflict related sexual violence. He is also currently undertaking some work with the trial and appeal chambers of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.



Hannah studied law and political sciences at the University of Erfurt (Germany) and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (Russia) and obtained her LLM in European Law from Maastricht University, specialising in criminal law. She is a PhD researcher at the Criminal Law and Criminology Department at the University of Maastricht’s Faculty of Law. Hannah’s research focuses on side-effects of international criminal courts and tribunals, most importantly on their impact on local justice systems. She teaches International Criminal Law as well as European Cooperation in Criminal Matters. Since 2015, she has also worked and taught on issues related to sexual and gender-based violence in times of armed conflict.

Hannah has gained considerable experience within different international and governmental organisations in the field of international cooperation. Most notably, she has worked at the German Corporation for International Cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ) which is responsible for implementing German development policies on the ground. Notably, she assisted the Gender Focal Person of the corporation in supervising development aid projects in partner countries and putting into place a gender policy within the corporation. Hannah also worked as an assistant lawyer at the Council of Europe within the Directorate General for Human Rights and Rule of Law, monitoring national justice systems in terms of anti-corruption laws and policies.



Safi is a graduate of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights where she obtained an LL.M. and Master of Advanced Studies in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in 2015. Prior to specialising in this field, Safi obtained an LL.M. in Public International Law from the University of Leiden and an LL.B. in Law with Anthropology from the University of Sussex.

Prior to joining the Accountability Unit, Safi worked as an Assistant Legal Officer at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and a research assistant for the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum on International Humanitarian Law at Leiden University. She has also worked with a number of organisations seeking to provide access to justice and legal assistance to victims of human rights violations in Cambodia, Kenya and Nepal. In this context, she has conducted research on the available domestic and international legal avenues for victims of enforced disappearances, torture, and sexual and gender-based violence.

Safi is an editorial assistant for the Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies and provided similar legal research and editorial assistance to the International Review of the Red Cross during her studies at the Geneva Academy. Since September 2016, she is also the regional coordinator of the International Humanitarian Law Network of the Netherlands Red Cross - Amsterdam division, tasked with the coordination of volunteers and the organisation of various dissemination activities on behalf of the organisation.




Ayse Bingöl Demir is an Attorney at Law based in Istanbul. She is a graduate of the University of Istanbul in Law and Queen Mary University where she obtained a Master of Laws in Human Rights Law.

Ayse’s early work was at Kaplan Law Firm in Istanbul where her practice comprised bringing human rights cases before the domestic courts and institutions as well as the European Court of Human Rights with respect to cases concerning freedom of expression, procedural and minority rights. As an active member of a legal working group, Ayse represented many internally displaced persons before the Turkish ‘Local Damage Assessment Commissions’ and Administrative Courts. Ayse is considered a specialist on issues related to internally displaced peoples. Internationally, she has brought numerous high profile cases before the European Court of Human Rights that resulted in changes to Turkish state practices and/or legislation including in respect of the right to a fair trial, right to freedom of assembly, right to liberty, right to free elections, and minority rights. She has published numerous peer-reviewed research papers on human rights issues and is currently running her own legal practice collaborating with a number of NGOs in Turkey.

Ayse continues to litigate cases before the Turkish Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights and acts as a consultant regarding grave violations of human rights have taken place in Turkey during recent years including violations against human rights defenders. She also provides pro bono legal assistance at the Women Rights Centre of the Istanbul Bar Association to survivors of domestic violence.