7 July 2015
Berlin – ESI/Harvard workshop on human rights strategies and the costs and consequences of torture
Photo: ESI
Photo: ESI

From recent revelations detailing torture by U.S. officials in Europe during the war on terror, to the ongoing plight of political prisoners in Eastern Europe, the international frameworks built to safeguard human rights are under increasing strain. In light of these challenges, the Harvard Kennedy School Carr Center for Human Rights Policy has launched a project to assess the cost and consequences of the U.S. practices of torture in the years after 9/11, and ESI has launched a project evaluating the state of the European human rights system and Europe's response to U.S. torture practices.

This workshop at the Austrian Embassy in Berlin on 7-8 July 2015 brought these projects together in order to help conference participants explore how to best maintain the taboo on torture. In their discussion the group of academics and practitioners examined:

  • Current U.S. and European debates on torture and extraordinary rendition
  • The efficacy of the institutions tasked with policing human rights
  • Changing public opinion concerning torture in the United States and Europe
  • Challenges to the European human rights architecture brought on by the use of torture in Europe
  • Public policy solutions to address these challenges to human rights

Participants

  • Magda Adamowicz, Poland, Program Coordinator, Open Society Human Rights Initiative
  • Murat Belge, Turkey, Professor, columnist and human rights activist, Bilgi University
  • Claire Boine, France, Researcher, Harvard University
  • Iva Dobichina, UK, Associate Director, Open Society Human Rights Initiative
  • Bjørn Engesland, Norway, Secretary General, Norwegian Helsinki Committee
  • Vugar Gojayev, Azerbaijan, Human rights activist, Norwegian Helsinki Committee
  • Michael S. Greco, USA, Partner, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP, former President of American Bar Association
  • Julia Hall, USA, Human rights expert, Amnesty International
  • Douglas Johnson, USA, Director, Lecturer, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School
  • Katrin Kinzelbach, Germany, Associate Director, Global Public Policy Institute
  • Gerald Knaus, Austria, Chairman, ESI
  • Katharina Knaus, Austria, Senior Analyst, ESI
  • Anne Mandeville, France, Professor of Political Science,  Director, Conflict Analysis Program,  University of Toulouse
  • Ingrid Metton, France, Lawyer, Cabinet ANCILE (AARPI)
  • Alberto Mora, USA, Senior Fellow, Carr Center for HR Policy at Harvard Kennedy School
  • Günter Schirmer, Germany, Deputy Head, Secretariat,  Committee on Legal Affairs & Human Rights,  PACE
  • Averell Schmidt, USA, Fellow, Carr Center for HR Policy at Harvard Kennedy School
  • Alexandra Stiglmayer, Germany, Senior Analyst, ESI
  • Dinara Yunus, Azerbaijan, Human rights activist
  • Yana Zabanova, Germany, Associate in the Eastern Europe and Eurasia research division, German Institute for International and Security Affairs

More information on the workshop, background reading, and videos

Alberto Mora, Michael Greco. Photo: ESI
Alberto Mora, Michael Greco. Photo: ESI
Alberto Mora, Michael Greco, Iva Dobichina, Björn Engesland. Photo: ESI
Alberto Mora, Michael Greco, Iva Dobichina, Björn Engesland. Photo: ESI
Claire Boine, Anne Mandeville, Magda Adamowicz, Julia Hall. Photo: ESI
Claire Boine, Anne Mandeville, Magda Adamowicz, Julia Hall. Photo: ESI
Gerald Knaus, Katharina Knaus, Douglas Johnson, Alberto Mora, Murat Belge. Photo: ESI
Gerald Knaus, Katharina Knaus, Douglas Johnson, Alberto Mora, Murat Belge. Photo: ESI
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