Staff

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...

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,...

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

Audrey first joined the APT in 2006. As Director of the Regional Office for Latin America, Audrey oversees the implementation of APT’s operations in Latin America, devises APT’s strategies in the region, runs the Regional Office’s day-to-day and represents the APT with...

Audrey first joined the APT in 2006. As Director of the Regional Office for Latin America, Audrey oversees the implementation of APT’s operations in Latin America, devises APT’s strategies in the region, runs the Regional Office’s day-to-day and represents the APT with high level authorities, our partners and donors in the region.

Prior to reintegrating the APT in 2015, Audrey worked with the Geneva Democratic Centre for Armed Forces (DCAF) for two years on issues related to private security governance. Audrey studied political sciences, public administration and human rights.

She holds a Masters’ Degree in Humanitarian and Human Rights Law from the University of Aix-Marseille III, where she wrote a thesis on OPCAT Implementation in Latin America, as well as a Master of Laws in Political Science and Public Administration from Sciences-Po Rennes. A French citizen, she speaks fluent English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Sandra Andenmatten

Finance Officer

+41 22 919 2182

Jean-Sébastien Blanc

Detention Adviser

+41 22 919 21 83

Jean-Sébastien has been working for the APT since 2010. As Detention Adviser, Jean-Sébastien develops guidance and training material on torture prevention and supports and trains partners working on detention, in particular monitoring bodies.

Prior to joining the...

Jean-Sébastien has been working for the APT since 2010. As Detention Adviser, Jean-Sébastien develops guidance and training material on torture prevention and supports and trains partners working on detention, in particular monitoring bodies.

Prior to joining the APT, Jean-Sébastien worked as a delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the South Caucasus, as well as for various NGOs. Jean-Sébastien was also appointed as an expert with the Permanent Committee of Visitors of the Grand Council of the Canton de Vaud (CPVGC) to ensure that detention conditions comply with Swiss and international laws.

Jean-Sébastien studied Russian, History and Philosophy, as well as International Relations. He holds a Master’s degree in Literature and History from the University of Lausanne, as well as a Master's degree in International Relations from the University of Buenos Aires. A Swiss citizen, he speaks fluent French, Spanish, English and has a good command of Russian.

Ben Buckland

Asesor para las INDH

+41 22 919 21 71

Ben has been working for the APT since 2014. As National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) Advisor, Ben coordinates APT’s work with independent oversight bodies around the world and develops expert advice from...

Ben has been working for the APT since 2014. As National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) 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 the Geneva Democratic Centre for Armed Forces (DCAF), the Ethicos Group, Human Rights Watch, Oxfam and the University of Melbourne.

Ben holds a Bachelor’s 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, he speaks fluent English and French.

Eva Csergö

Europe and Central Asia Programme Officer

+41 22 919 21 78

Eva has been working for the APT since 2014. As Europe and Central Asia Programme Officer, Eva coordinates the work of the APT within Western and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Turkey and the former Soviet Union.

Prior to joining the team, Eva worked for a number of international...

Eva has been working for the APT since 2014. As Europe and Central Asia Programme Officer, Eva coordinates the work of the APT within Western and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Turkey and the former Soviet Union.

Prior to joining the team, Eva worked for a number of international NGOs throughout the Europe and Central Asia region, including Minority Rights Group International and the Danish Refugee Council. She also worked as Cooperation Officer and Humanitarian Correspondent for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Georgia and with the OSCE Presence in Albania, and volunteered in France and Armenia within the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly NGO network.

Eva studied law, political science and international relations in France and Turkey. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and an MA in Political Science from Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne University, as well as an MA in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from Aix-en-Provence University. She is fluent in French and English and also speaks German, Russian, some Georgian and some basic Turkish.

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 integrating the team, Rachel worked for many years in the banking sector before following a professional retraining course in human resources and...

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

Prior to integrating 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

Sylvia has been working for the APT since 2005. As APT´s Representative in Brazil, her role is to develop and implement APT´s strategic priorities in the country, including supporting the effective implementation of the National System to Prevent Torture, advocating for...

Sylvia has been working for the APT since 2005. As APT´s Representative in Brazil, her role is to develop and implement APT´s strategic priorities in the country, including supporting the effective implementation of the National System to Prevent Torture, advocating for strengthening procedural safeguards during the first hours of police custody, and promoting increased protection of detained persons in situations of special vulnerability, in particular women and LGBTI persons.

Prior to joining the team, where she also worked as Director of the Regional Office for Latin America in Panama from 2011-2015, Sylvia worked for a law firm in Brazil and a community-based NGO in the United States, providing legal assistance for women and children victims of domestic violence and promoting public awareness campaigns on gender equality and violence against women.

Sylvia is a lawyer and holds a Master’s Degree in International Law from the University of Connecticut (USA). A Brazilian citizen, Sylvia speaks fluent Portuguese, Spanish and English.

Catherine Felder

Administrative Assistant

+41 22 919 21 70

Catherine has been working for the APT since 2005. In her role as Administrative Assistant, Catherine supports the Secretariat and manages the functioning of the Jean Jacques Gautier Centre.

Prior to joining the team, she worked for indigenous peoples' NGOs and the ICRC at...

Catherine has been working for the APT since 2005. In her role as Administrative Assistant, Catherine supports the Secretariat and manages the functioning of the Jean Jacques Gautier Centre.

Prior to joining the team, she worked for indigenous peoples' NGOs and the ICRC at Geneva Headquarters and field offices in Ethopia, Sri Lanka, Colombia and Peru.

Catherine studied commerce and management. A Swiss citizen, she speaks French, English and Spanish.

Veronica Filippeschi

OPCAT Adviser (on leave)

+41 22 919 21 72

Veronica has been working for the APT since 2013. As OPCAT Adviser, Veronica develops and implements APT’s policies on the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT), and to advise State actors, National Preventive Mechanisms...

Veronica has been working for the APT since 2013. As OPCAT Adviser, Veronica develops and implements APT’s policies on the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT), and to advise State actors, National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs) and NGOs on OPCAT ratification and implementation.

Prior to joining the team, Veronica worked for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Panama and Guatemala, Solidaridad Internacional in Spain, the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) in Rome and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Veronica studied International Relations in Italy and holds a Master’s degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Rome. An Italian citizen, Veronica speaks fluent English, Spanish, Italian and French.

Carmen Fleitas

Project assistant

+507 317 1021/1106

Carmen joined the APT in 2017. As Project Assistant, Carmen supports the organisation of regional and national events and manages APT’s Regional Office social media.

Prior to integrating APT’s Regional Office in Panama, Carmen worked with an NGO in Paraguay on poverty...

Carmen joined the APT in 2017. As Project Assistant, Carmen supports the organisation of regional and national events and manages APT’s Regional Office social media.

Prior to integrating APT’s Regional Office in Panama, Carmen worked with an NGO in Paraguay on poverty elimination and human rights, and carried out various internships at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in the area of fundraising, and at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva in the area of sustainable human development.

Carmen studied International Relations and Diplomacy in Taiwan and holds a Master’s degree in Human Rights from the University College of London, where she wrote her thesis on women´s rights. A Paraguayan citizen, Carmen speaks fluently Spanish, English and intermediate Chinese and Portuguese.

Anja Härtwig

Publications Officer

+41 22 919 21 86

Anja has been working for the APT since 2008. Her role as Publications Officer is to coordinate 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 has been working for the APT since 2008. Her role as Publications Officer is to coordinate 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...

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 supports the organisation’s overall strategy and specific projects through external communications.

Prior to integrating the team, Colombe worked in communications for various human rights or humanitarian...

Colombe joined the APT in 2017. As Communications Officer, Colombe supports the organisation’s overall strategy and specific projects through external communications.

Prior to integrating 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 European Union’s Foreign Policy towards Algeria. A French and Belgian dual citizen, Colombe speaks fluent French and English.

Anne Lardy

Asesora Jurídica y de Incidencia

+41 22 919 21 78

Anne has been working for the APT since 2014. As Advocacy and Legal Adviser, Anne coordinates the work of the APT at the Human Rights Council and advises colleagues and partners on legal issues with a particular focus on anti-torture legislation and safeguards to prevent torture.

...

Anne has been working for the APT since 2014. As Advocacy and Legal Adviser, Anne coordinates the work of the APT at the Human Rights Council and advises colleagues and partners on legal issues with a particular focus on anti-torture legislation and safeguards to prevent torture.

Prior to joining the APT, Anne worked as Legal Advisor and Protection Delegate for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She also worked for defence teams at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania and for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) where her focus was the reform of the Haitian judicial system.

Anne studied law in France and the Netherlands. She holds a Masters of Law in International Humanitarian Law from the Geneva Academy of Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and speaks fluent French and English.

Sara Vera López

Project Officer

+507 317 1021/1106

Sara has been working for the APT since 2016. Her role as Project Officer is to contribute to the effective implementation of APT's regional office projects in Latin America, in particular regarding the implementation of effective safeguards, to provide legal and practical advice to our...

Sara has been working for the APT since 2016. Her role as Project Officer is to contribute to the effective implementation of APT's regional office projects in Latin America, in particular regarding the implementation of effective safeguards, to provide legal and practical advice to our partners on torture prevention measures and anti-torture laws, and deliver capacity strengthening workshops.

Prior to joining APT’s Regional Office in Panama, Sara worked with various NGOs in Mexico, in particular Asistencia Legal por los Derechos Humanos and Documenta, on detention issues, human rights and persons with psycho-social disabilities; volunteered with Doctors without Borders and World Vision in Mexico; and completed an internship with the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB) in Spain.

Sara is a lawyer and studied Law and Human Rights in Mexico, and was awarded a scholarship to study a Master’s degree in Human Rights and Governance at the Autonomous University of Madrid. A Mexican citizen, Sara speaks Spanish and English.

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.

Andra Nicolescu

Advocacy and Legal Advisor

+41 22 919 21 76

Andra Nicolescu joined the APT in 2017. As Advocacy and Legal Adviser, Andra coordinates the work of the APT with the UN Treaty Bodies and advises colleagues and partners on legal issues with a particular focus on safeguards to prevent torture.

Prior to integrating the team,...

Andra Nicolescu joined the APT in 2017. As Advocacy and Legal Adviser, Andra coordinates the work of the APT with the UN Treaty Bodies and advises colleagues and partners on legal issues with a particular focus on safeguards to prevent torture.

Prior to integrating the team, Andra directed the work of the Anti-Torture Initiative at the American University Washington College of Law’s Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. In this capacity, she supported the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. Andra has also worked for various organisations, including INTERIGHTS, the Public International Law & Policy Group, the Delegation of the European Union in New Delhi, India, and local NGOs in Cameroon and Romania.

Andra holds a Bachelor’s degree from McGill University, a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and a Juris Doctor from the American University Washington College of Law. A native speaker of English and Romanian, she is proficient in French and Spanish.

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...

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...

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 joined the APT in 2017. Her role as Fundraising Officer is to ensure sufficient funding for the organisation to perform its missions. She makes the link between APT’s operations and relevant institutional donors.

Prior to integrating the team, she worked as...

Cécile joined the APT in 2017. Her role as Fundraising Officer is to ensure sufficient funding for the organisation to perform its missions. She makes the link between APT’s operations and relevant institutional donors.

Prior to integrating the team, she worked as Project Manager with Franciscans International, as well as Coordinator of the Child Rights Activities at the World Organisation against Torture (OMCT).

Cécile holds a Masters of Law in European Law and International Economic Law from the University of Geneva. A French citizen, Cécile speaks fluent French and English.

Ivona Truscan

Thematic Adviser

+41 22 919 2179

Ivona joined the APT in 2017. Her role as Thematic Adviser is to develop and implement advocacy strategies in relation to preventing torture in the context of immigration detention, and supports activities related to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (

Ivona joined the APT in 2017. Her role as Thematic Adviser is to develop and implement advocacy strategies in relation to preventing torture in the context of immigration detention, and supports activities related to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT).

Prior to integrating the team, Ivona contributed to research and advocacy projects at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and at the 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...

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...

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.