Designer Vivienne Westwood and former UN Special Rapporteurs on torture Nigel Rodley and Manfred Nowak become patrons of REDRESS

REDRESS is pleased to welcome Dame Vivienne Westwood, Sir Nigel Rodley and Professor Manfred Nowak as Patrons.

REDRESS’ Patrons play an invaluable role in raising the profile of our work on behalf of torture survivors globally by lending us their public images and helping us expand our network of friends and supporters.

Dame Vivienne is one of the most influential British designers of our time and a champion of civil liberties. She has supported REDRESS for a number of years through her son’s charity, Humanade. The designer, who was instrumental in defining the punk look in the 1970s, once said: “I became a punk because I was so upset with what was going on in the world. I just couldn’t stand the idea of people being tortured and that we even had such a thing as war.”

Sir Nigel and Professor Nowak are renowned world experts in the field of human rights and former UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture, the UN independent experts responsible for monitoring torture violations around the world. Their addition brings to three the number of former Special Rapporteurs on Torture among REDRESS’ Patrons, which includes longtime Patron Professor Theo van Boven.

Sir Nigel, who is currently a member of the UN Human Rights Committee, has supported REDRESS since its founding in 1992. He said of becoming a Patron:

“I have been an admirer and supporter of REDRESS since it was founded some two decades ago by Keith Carmichael, himself a victim of torture in Saudi Arabia. I couldn’t be more pleased to be invited to have this formal association with an organisation that is so active in seeking to overcome impunity and secure accountability of those who practise torture and the states on whose behalf they do it.”

Confirming his acceptance of the invitation to become a Patron, Professor Nowak noted:

“Redress is one of the most effective organisations assisting torture survivors to obtain justice and reparation. During my time as Special Rapporteur on Torture I could always rely on the active support and assistance of REDRESS.”

REDRESS’ Chair, Sir Emyr Jones Parry, said:

“We are thrilled to welcome the three distinguished Patrons and we are confident that their association with REDRESS will significantly contribute to the growing profile of our work in combating torture and seeking reparation for victims. We hope that, together, we can encourage more people to join the fight against torture so that this illegal and morally repugnant practice can be eradicated and torture survivors around the world have access to the remedies they deserve and the opportunity to move on with their lives with dignity.”

Sir Nigel Rodley

Sir Nigel Rodley is a prominent advocate and professor of human rights and international law. He has been a member of the UN Human Rights Committee since 2001 and served as UN Special Rapporteur on Torture from 1993 to 2001. Knighted in 1998 for services to human rights and international law, Sir Nigel is also a President of the International Commission of Jurists and a joint recipient of the American Society of International Law’s 2005 Goler T Butcher Human Rights Medal for distinguished work in the field of human rights.

Sir Nigel has an LLB from the University of Leeds, an LLM from both Columbia University and New York University, and a PhD from the University of Essex. In 2000, he received an honorary LLD from Dalhousie University. In 1994, he was appointed Professor of Law at the University of Essex, where he has also been Dean of Law. Sir Rodley currently chairs the University of Essex Human Rights Centre.

Dame Vivienne Westwood

Dame Vivienne Westwood is one of the most influential British fashion designers of the twentieth century. She has also been a long-term supporter of civil liberties and human rights. As a designer, she is renowned for her reinterpretation of establishment styles, her use of very British fabrics such as Harris Tweed and tartan, and for reviving historic garments such as the corset and crinoline. She has twice earned the prestigious award for British Designer of the Year.

Often referred as the “Godmother of Punk”, she was instrumental in defining the punk look in the 1970s. Dame Vivienne was made Honorary Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art in 1992, and Officer and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (OBE and DBE) in 1992 and 2006, respectively.

Professor Manfred Nowak

Professor Nowak is a staunch defender of human rights and a distinguished academic. He was the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture from 2004 to 2010, UN expert on enforced disappearances and judge at the Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was one of the five authors of a UN report on the detention of captives at the US naval base in Guantanamo.

In 1992, he co-founded the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights in Vienna, where he is co-director and scientific director. He received a PhD from the University of Vienna and a LLM from Columbia University. Professor Nowak has taught at several universities, including the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights at Lund University, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and the American University Washington College of Law.

He currently teaches at the University of Vienna.

For further information, please contact Eva Sanchis, REDRESS’ Communications Officer, at [email protected] or +44 (0)20 7793 1777.

Note to editors: REDRESS was founded by Keith Carmichael, a British torture survivor, in 1992. Since then, it has consistently fought for the rights of torture survivors and their families in the UK and abroad. It takes legal challenges on behalf of survivors, works to ensure that torturers are punished and that survivors and their families obtain remedies for their suffering. REDRESS works with civil society groups around the world to eradicate the practice of torture once and for all and to ensure that survivors can move forward with their lives in dignity. It has intervened in a range of leading torture cases. More information on our work is available on our website: