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Press briefing note on Sir Nigel Rodley

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville
Location:  Geneva
Date:  27 January 2017
Subject: Sir Nigel Rodley

We have some extremely sad news, which I know some of you are aware of already. Sir Nigel Rodley, who was known to many of you in his capacity as member and former chair of the UN Human Rights Committee, passed away on Wednesday (25 January). Sir Nigel, who as a Special Rapporteur worked tirelessly from 1993 to 2001 to combat torture across the world, was a devoted human rights defender and brilliant academic. He was a member of the Human Rights Committee for 16 years and was one of its best known public faces, and most eloquent voices.

For us at the UN Human Rights Office, he was someone who was always willing to pass on his knowledge and experience to a younger generation. He would speak directly and frankly to anyone, even the most powerful; yet would also treat everyone with great humanity and kindness. As one colleague said, Sir Nigel could be sharp, and he certainly pointed out your mistakes, but he was also generous with his praise.  He was Professor of Law and Chair of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex in the UK, where he taught generations of human rights students, many of whom are now working at the UN Human Rights Office. We will all miss him terribly, and our thoughts at this time are with his family, in particular his wife Lyn.


For more information and media requests, please contact Rupert Colville (+41 22 917 9767 / rcolville@ohchr.org) or Ravina Shamdasani (+41 22 917 9169 / rshamdasani@ohchr.org )
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