After six years as UN Special Rapporteur on Torture between 2004 and 2010, Manfred Nowak summarized his impressions and experience from 18 official fact-finding missions and joint investigations with other UN experts in a book written in his mother tongue German, entitled “Folter – Die Alltäglichkeit des Unfassbaren” (Verlag Kremayr & Scheriau KG, Vienna). Nowak was repeatedly urged by friends and colleagues to also publish an English translation. After Roger Kaminker, a senior and highly experienced UN interpreter who had accompanied him on a number of these fact-finding missions, offered to translate the book, Nowak finally agreed.
Manfred Nowak felt it was important to add more personal thoughts and feelings experienced during these missions which he could not express in his official reports to the United Nations. This book covers his experiences from all world regions of unannounced visits of places of detention and confidential interviews with detainees, torture survivors and witnesses. Nowak dedicates this book to the many torture survivors who were kind and brave enough to share their horrific experiences with him. Nowak advocates: “Whatever (the detainees) might have done, they truly deserve a world without torture and with humane conditions of detention.”
ABOUT MANFRED NOWAK
Manfred Nowak, Professor of International Law and Human Rights – University of Vienna, and Co-Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann institute of Human Rights (BIM), is the new Secretary General at EIUC. Prof. Nowak has also been Head of the interdisciplinary research centre Human Rights at the University of Vienna since 2014, vice chair of the Management Board of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights in Vienna and Scientific Director of the Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights, University of Vienna, since 2012.
Manfred Nowak was United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture from 2004 to 2010. In this function, he conducted fact-finding missions to Georgia, Mongolia, Nepal, China, Jordan, Paraguay, Nigeria, Togo, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Denmark and Greenland, Moldova, Equatorial Guinea, Uruguay, Kazakhstan, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, and Greece; joint reports on Guantánamo Bay, Darfur and Secret Detention in the Fight against Terrorism from 2004 to 2010. Before, he serves as UN Expert on Enforced Disappearances between 1993 and 2006 and advised the Working Group of the Commission on Human Rights drafting a Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which was adopted by the General Assembly in December 2006. Between 1996 and 2003, he served as international judge at the Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo.