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Mark Thomson

Secretary General

+41 22 919 21 80

Mark Thomson has 30 years work experience with international development and human rights NGOs. He has been the Secretary General of the APT since April 2001. He has given presentations and training, on human rights and prevention of torture, in all regions of the world. He has established partnerships in prevention with governments, national human rights commissions, police authorities, NGOs and United Nations experts and agencies. He has contributed to the drafting, adoption and implementation of several human rights instruments such as: the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and the subsequent Special Representative; the Optional Protocol for the UN Convention against Torture; the revised ECOSOC rules on consultations with NGOs. Awarded UK honours of CMG (2015) and OBE (2004) for services to the global prevention of torture. Educated in Fiji and UK (MA London, BA Essex).

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Who's Who 2016 (extract)


Barbara Bernath

Chief of Operations

+41 22 919 21 84

Barbara Bernath studied Political Science and International Relations, and holds a Masters degree in human rights. Prior to joining APT, she worked for the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs and worked with the ICRC in Colombia. She was responsible for APT's Europe programme for 6 years, moved in 2005 to the APT Detention Monitoring Programme and became Chief of Operations in 2009. Fluent in French, German, English and Spanish.


Audrey Olivier Muralt

Director, Regional Office for Latin America

+507 317 1021/1106

Mrs Audrey Olivier Muralt holds a Masters Degree in Humanitarian and Human Rights Law, as well as a LLM in Political Science and Public Administration. She has been working for non governmental organisations for the past nine years. Before joining the APT Office for Latin America in Panama, she worked for a Swiss-based organisation on private security governance and prior to this, for the APT in Geneva for seven years on promoting OPCAT ratification and implementation in all regions of the world, including Latin America.

She is fluent in French, Spanish and English. 


Sandra Andenmatten

Finance Officer

+41 22 919 2182

Jean-Sébastien Blanc

Detention Adviser

+41 22 919 21 83

Jean-Sébastien Blanc joined the APT in 2010. He studied History and Russian in Switzerland and International Relations in Argentina.

Before joining the APT, he worked as a delegate of the ICRC in the South Caucasus. He has also worked for various NGOs, including Amnesty International, and as a journalist. He is fluent in French, Spanish, English and Russian.

In 2013, he was appointed as expert with the Permanent Committee of Visitors of the Grand Council of the Canton of Vaud.


Ben Buckland

NHRI Adviser

+41 22 919 21 71

Ben joined the APT in 2014. As National Human Rights Institutions Advisor, Ben coordinates APT’s work with independent oversight bodies around the world and develops expert advice from research on how these institutions can play a stronger role in torture prevention.

Prior to joining the team, Ben worked with a number of NGOs and think tanks, including DCAF, the Ethicos Group, Human Rights Watch, Oxfam and the University of Melbourne.

Ben holds a Bachelors’ degree with first class honours in French and political science from the University of Melbourne and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. An Australian and British dual citizen, Ben speaks fluent English and French.


Eva Csergö

Europe and Central Asia Programme Officer

+41 22 919 21 78

Eva Csergö studied law, political science and international relations in France and Turkey, and holds a Master’s degree in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

Before joining the APT in 2014, she worked for a number of NGOs throughout the Europe and Central Asia region, including Minority Rights Group International and the Danish Refugee Council, and as cooperation officer and humanitarian correspondent for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Georgia.

She is fluent in French and English and also speaks German, Russian, Turkish and some Georgian.


Rachel Delapierre

Administrative Assistant

+41 22 919 21 89

Rachel joined the APT in 2017. As Administrative Assistant, Rachel manages all human resources-related activities.

Prior to joining the team, Rachel worked for many years in the banking sector before following a professional retraining course in human resources and consolidating her new skills in several Geneva-based SMEs.

Rachel holds a Federal Certificate of Proficiency in Commercial Business from the Geneva Business School as well as the Swiss Certificate in Personnel Management. A Swiss citizen, she speaks fluent French, Swiss German and English.


Sylvia Dias

National Delegate for Brazil

From 2011 to 2015 Ms. Sylvia Dias was the Director of the APT Regional Office in Panama. Sylvia is a lawyer and holds a Masters Degree in International Law. Before joining the APT Office for Latin America in Panama she worked as an APT delegate in Brazil. Between 2002 and 2005 Sylvia worked for community based NGOs in the United States, providing legal assistance for women and children victims of domestic violence and promoting public awareness campaigns on gender equality and against violence against women. She is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English.


Catherine Felder

Administrative Assistant

+41 22 919 21 70

Catherine Felder is an experienced administrator with indigenous peoples' NGOs and ICRC field offices in Ethopia, Sri Lanka, Colombia and Peru.


Veronica Filippeschi

OPCAT Adviser

+41 22 919 21 72

Veronica Filippeschi joined the APT in 2013 as temporary Americas Programme Officer before becoming OPCAT Adviser in June. She has completed Masters degrees in International Relations and International Human Rights Law in Italy. Before joining the APT she worked for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Panama and Guatemala. She has also completed various internships with the NGO Solidaridad Internacional in Spain, the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian.


Carmen Fleitas

Project assistant

+507 317 1021/1106

Carmen Fleitas holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan, and a master’s degree in Human Rights form the University College London in United Kingdom. Before joining the APT Regional Office in Panama as Project Assistant, she carried out internships at the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights in the area of fundraising and at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva in the area of sustainable human development. She has also previous experience working with non-governmental organisations focused on poverty eliminati0n and human rights in Paraguay. She speaks Spanish, English and Chinese.


Anja Härtwig

Publications Officer

+41 22 919 21 86

Anja joined the APT in 2008. As Publications Officer, Anja coordinates the production of APT’s multi-lingual publications.

Prior to joining the team, Anja worked for several Brussels-based NGOs, including the European Youth Forum and Eurochild.

Anja studied International Relations in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Of German and Polish origin, Anja speaks fluent German, Polish, French and English.


Isabelle Heyer Frigo

Americas Programme Officer

+41 22 919 21 79

Isabelle Heyer holds an LL.M in International Law of Human Rights and Criminal Justice (University of Utrecht) and a Degree in History (University of Geneva). She has been active in the field of human rights for ten years in Latin America and in Switzerland. Before joining the APT in July 2011, she worked in Bogotá for the Colombian Commission of Jurists as its Representative to the United Nations and in Geneva for the International Commission of Jurists. She is fluent in French, English and Spanish.


Colombe Holloway

Communications Officer

+41 22 919 21 69

Colombe joined the APT in 2017. As Communications Officer, Colombe leads and implements APT’s external communications strategy.

Prior to joining the team, Colombe worked in communications for various human rights or humanitarian NGOs, including the Alkarama Foundation, Crisis Action and Action on Armed Violence. She also worked for a French publishing house in New Delhi, and as a journalist for a London-based publication.

Colombe studied Communications and Journalism in Brussels and holds a Master’s degree in Human Rights from the University of London, during which she wrote her dissertation on the Place of Human Rights in the EU’s Foreign Policy towards Algeria. A French and Belgian dual citizen, Colombe speaks fluent French and English.


Anne Lardy

Advocacy and Legal Adviser

+41 22 919 21 78

Anne Lardy studied law in France and the Netherlands. She holds a LL.M. in International Humanitarian Law (University Centre of International Humanitarian Law, now known as the Geneva Academy of Humanitarian Law and Human Rights).

Before joining the APT in 2014, she worked as legal advisor and protection delegate for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She also worked for defence teams at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania and for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) where her focus was the reform of the Haitian judicial system. She speaks French and English.


Sara Vera López

Project Officer

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Sara Vera studied law and human rights in Mexico. She was awarded a scholarship to study a Master’s degree in Human Rights and Government at the Autonomous University of Madrid. Before joining the APT as Project Officer, she developed her career in various fields within the private, public and NGO sector in Mexico.

Sara Vera has professional experience in human rights particularly in the areas of criminal justice and prison reform. Her work also involved policy research, monitoring human rights violations in prisons and capacity-building.


Adrian Moore

Web & IT Manager

+41 22 919 21 77

Adrian Moore has been with APT since 1998 as Administrator and Webmaster, and was responsible for the creation of the APT website in February 1999. In 2006, Adrian moved to work full time on IT and the APT website. Fluent in English and French.


Jean-Baptiste Niyizurugero

Africa Programme Officer

+41 22 919 21 75

Jean-Baptiste Niyizurugero is a lawyer and holds a Master’s Degree in International Human Rights Law (Catholic University of Lyon, France) as well as a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Political Science (Lyon III University, France). He is the APT Africa Programme Officer since 2000, having previously worked for 14 years as a Judge in Rwanda, and for international human rights organisations in Rwanda and France for another four years before joining APT. As APT Africa Programme Officer, he was the initiator and one of the drafters of the Robben Island Guidelines for the Prohibition and Prevention of Torture in Africa. He serves as Vice-Chair of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights’ Special Mechanism on Torture, the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA).

He has experience and practical engagement with various national actors in several countries across Africa providing advice and technical support on the implementation of international human rights standards. He conducted trainings, at different occasions, on human rights, administration of Justice and prevention of torture for human rights NGOs, national preventive mechanisms, national human rights institutions, police officers, judges and lawyers and has published a number of guides, manuals and articles on these issues.

He is fluent in French and English.


Yasmine Shams

Middle East and North Africa Programme Officer

+41 22 919 21 74

Yasmine Shams studied political science at Cairo University (Egypt) and holds a Master’s degree in Euro-Mediterranean Studies. She was awarded a Chevening Fellowship by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2007, where she studied “Government relations with NGOs and Civil Society” at Glasgow University, Scotland. She also studied women’s rights at the Centre for Study of Human Rights at LSE London.

Before joining the APT in 2015, Yasmine worked as political officer at the British embassy in Egypt. She also served as senior international relations researcher at the Egyptian Minister of Investment Cabinet Office. Previously, she worked as projects' officer and human rights researcher at the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights, where she led on the establishment of the Ombudsman office in Cairo, liaising with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman in London.

Yasmine is currently pursuing a professional diploma in “personal performance coaching”. She is also a board member of an Egyptian social and economic development NGO.

She is fluent in Arabic, French and English and speaks some Spanish.


Cécile Trochu Grasso

Fundraising Officer

+41 (0)22 919 21 88

Cécile Trochu Grasso joined the APT in February 2017. She studied international and European law in France and Switzerland. Before joining the APT, Cécile worked as Project Manager with Franciscans International, and before that as coordinator for the child rights activities at the World Organisation Against Torture. She has substantial experience in fundraising, project management and human rights advocacy. She is fluent in French and English.


Ivona Truscan

Thematic Adviser

+41 22 919 2179

Ivona joined the APT in 2017. As Thematic Adviser, Ivona develops and implements advocacy in relation to preventing torture in the context of immigration detention, and supports activities related to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.

Before joining the APT, Ivona contributed to research and advocacy projects at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Women’s Human Rights Education Institute. She also supported and volunteered for NGOs in Switzerland and Romania in relation to economic, social and cultural rights and addressing violence against women.

Ivona studied International Law and International Human Rights Law and holds a Doctorate degree in International Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Her PhD thesis looks at the notion of vulnerability in international human rights law. A Romanian citizen, Ivona speaks fluent Romanian, English and French.


Romain Zappella

Fundraising Officer

+41 22 919 21 73

Romain has worked for over two years as the online private fundraiser for the ICRC. After this experience he worked as an Account Manager for a recruitment agency, where he was working exclusively with international organisations, private foundations and NGOs.

Romain grew up in Africa (DRC, Ivory Coast and Senegal) and in South America (Colombia and Mexico). He is in charge of fundraising activities in Spanish speaking countries and new fundraising projects.


Shazeera Zawawi

Asia Pacific Programme Officer

+41 22 919 21 65

Shazeera Zawawi has a Bachelor Degree in Law from University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, as well as a Master’s degree in Applied Human Rights from the University of York, United Kingdom. She was also awarded Chevening Fellowship from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom in 2007, where she was attached with the Glasgow University in Scotland to study "Government Relations with Civil Society".

After completing her bachelor degree, she joined the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) for five years, as a human rights education officer before heading the Law Reform and International Treaties Division. Her work with SUHAKAM primarily involved national and regional advocacy and strategic engagement with government, UN and civil society on the implementation of Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). After SUHAKAM, she worked for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Kuala Lumpur as a senior protection assistant before joining the APT Asia Pacific team in 2013. She also loves cartooning and speaks fluent Malay and English.


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