Home About us Organisation Board


Martine Brunschwig Graf

President, Bureau Member (Switzerland)

Former Member of Swiss Federal Parliament, former Minister of Finances and Education of Canton of Geneva, current President of Swiss Commission against Racism.


Michael Kellett

Vice-President, Bureau Member (United Kingdom)

Michael Kellett retired from the police service in the United Kingdom in 2006 on completion of thirty years service. During that time he carried out a variety of roles, mainly as a criminal investigator. From 2001 to 2003 he was seconded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg where he acted as police advisor to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and also worked with the Police and Human Rights Programme. He has extensive experience, both in his ‘human rights’ role and as an operational police officer, of working in Europe, throughout the former Soviet Union, in the Balkans and in Asia and North America and since leaving the police has worked as a consultant on behalf of the FCO, OSCE, EU, Council of Europe, UNDP and the APT. He is a member of the FCO’s  Human Rights Sub-Group on Torture Prevention (UK).


Erika Schläppi

Vice-President, Bureau Member (Switzerland)

Dr. iur. Erika Schläppi is an experienced consultant on human rights and governance issues, particularly in the context of development and peace building. Her knowledge of human rights and governance work stems from various kinds of professional experience, including academic research, international governmental policy, non-governmental advocacy, and many years of consultancy work. She lives in Berne.


Klaus Belzer

Treasurer, Bureau Member (Switzerland)


Jacques Lederrey

Board Member, Bureau Member (Switzerland)

Medical Doctor.


Ottavia Maurice

Board Member, Bureau Member (Switzerland/Italy)

Interpreter, former member of APT staff.


Abdelwahab Hani

Board Member (Tunisia)


Cécilia Jimenez

Board Member (Philippines)


José de Jesus Filho

Board Member (Brazil)

José de Jesus Filho has been a leading member of the Brazilian prison pastoral care (Pastoral Carcerária Nacional) since 1995. In this capacity, Mr. Filho has conducted dozens of visits to prisons and other places of detention in his country, particularly in Sao Paulo, to monitor human rights and prevent abuses on detainees. José was confronted to several cases of ill- treatment and torture in his work, and as a lawyer he has litigated over a hundred cases of torture.

José de Jesus Filho is also one of the civil society representatives of the National Committee Against Torture, an inter-institutional body established by Brazilian authorities in 2006. As a member of this body, Mr. Filho has participated in the drafting of a law to establish a National Mechanism to Prevent Torture (NPM), in compliance with the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT), ratified by Brazil in 2007. Additionally, Mr. Filho created in 2006 an online database to register cases of torture.

In March 2012, José de Jesus Filho joined the Board of the APT.


Krassimir Kanev

Board Member (Bulgaria)

Professor of sociology, Director of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee.


Jeehan Mahmood

Board Member (Maldives)

Ms. Jeehan Mahmood whose educational background and professional experience closely ties in with the psycho-social elements of protecting Human Rights completed her Bachelor of Arts with triple majors in Sociology, Psychology and English Language.

Her tenure at the Commission is part of her several stints when she has served as an integral part of the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives. She joined the Commission in 2008 as a Media Officer after which she consolidated her passion for the field by being accepted as the Director of the newly formed National Preventive Mechanism. Now serving as a Member of the Commission, she incorporates her experience and fervor in promoting and protecting the Human Rights in Maldives. She is also a Board member of the Association for the Prevention of Torture.


Susan McCrory

Board Member (United Kingdom/Switzerland)

Susan McCrory is a UK qualified lawyer with  expertise in international law and policy, in particular human rights and humanitarian issues. Formerly a legal adviser with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Susan now works as an independent consultant and has collaborated with the Human Rights Directorate of the Council of Europe, and as an expert external assessor for EU grant funding in relation to human rights and migration. She has also worked with the International Labour Organisation, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Meteorological Organisation and has taught human rights and international law at Webster University Geneva.  Susan has been on the Board of APT since 2008 and on the Council of the International Legal Assistance Consortium since May 2012 (UK/Switzerland).



Juan Méndez

Board Member (Argentina)


Manfred Nowak

Board Member (Austria)

Born 1950 in Bad Aussee (Austria), 1973 conferral of doctorate (Dr. Iur.) University of Vienna, 1975 LL.M Columbia University (New York), since 1992 Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (Vienna), 1993 - 2001 Member of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, 1996 - 2003 Judge at the Human Rights Chamber of Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2004 - 2010 UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, 2000-2012 head of an independent human rights commission at the Austrian Ministry of Interior (under the Human Rights Advisory Board of the Ministry); since 2008 head of the interdisciplinary research platform “Human Rights in the European Context” (University of Vienna); Member of the Austrian Monitoring Body of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Professor of International Law and Human Rights at the University of Vienna; since 2012 Member of the Management Board of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights in Vienna; since 2012 Scientific Director of the Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights (University of Vienna); since 2012 Head of Visiting Commission of the Austrian Ombudsman Board; author of more than 500 publications in the fields of constitutional, administrative and international law with a focus on fundamental and human rights.


Mervat Rishmawi

Board Member (Palestine, United Kingdom)

Mervat Rishmawi is a Palestinian human rights activist who has obtained her LLM degree from the University of Essex in 1994. She worked with the International Secretariat of Amnesty International for approximately 12 years, most of which as the Legal Advisor to the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA). She was also Deputy Director for the MENA Program. During her work with Amnesty International, Mervat Rishmawi developed most of the organisation’s work in relation to the League of Arab States. Before her work with AI, Ms. Rishmawi worked as a consultant with a number of UN agencies and the OHCHR. She has also occupied senior positions within al-Haq (one of the oldest and most prominent NGOs in the MENA region.)

Ms. Rishmawi has left her work with Amnesty International at the end of March 2010, and is currently self-employed as a human rights consultant.

Ms. Rishmawi has published on a number of human rights issues, including issues related to administration of justice as well as the human rights standards and mechanisms of the League of Arab States. She has also contributed to many training programs, conferences and debates on human rights issues, especially in the MENA region.

She is an APT Board member since 2011.

She is a Fellow at the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex, and the Human Rights Law Centre at the University of Nottingham, both being very prominent centres world-wide. Both are based in the UK.


Suzanne Soukoudé

Board Member (Togo)

Suzanne Batankimyem Soukoudé currently holds the position of Magistrate, First Deputy Prosecutor General at the Court of Appeal in Lomé (Togo). She is also the Deputy Coordinator of the Follow-Up Committee for the Ratification and the Implementation the Optional Protocol in Togo. Among other things, she has worked as a consultant. She drafted the project of prison policy and social reintegration of prisoners (June 2010) and conducted a study on the conditions of reintegration of prisoners into their communities and the causes of crime (PAUSEP / EU, April-July 2006).

Suzanne Soukoudé also participated in and contributed to various seminars and workshops on the Optional Protocol in Lomé and other African countries, including on the concept of preventive visits, as well as the criteria and the role of national mechanisms for the prevention of torture.

She has published numerous articles and books, including: A Guide to Prisoners’ Rights; The Prison System of Togo; Prisons: Where all the Problems Converge and Alternatives to Imprisonment.



Walter Suntinger

Board Member (Austria)

Walter Suntinger is a human rights consultant, trainer and university lecturer (since 1998), and a  Managing Partner in HumanRightsConsulting Vienna (since 2006). He holds a law degree of the University of Graz, with a specialization in human rights law. His main working areas are:  human rights in the police and criminal justice system, human rights monitoring, asylum and refugee issues, business and human rights, development cooperation.
He previously worked at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights in Vienna, at UNHCR, at Amnesty International, and in an OSCE mission in Kosovo. He was a member of the Human Rights Advisory Board in Austria and is currently a member of a visiting commission of the Austrian Ombudsman Board.  He is a current/former lecturer at: University of Vienna, Summer School of  Johns Hopkins University – Bologna Center, University of Oregon (study abroad program in Vienna), the European Peace University in Stadschlaining; University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt.


Related Content
Latest tweet