Policy director at Freedom from Torture
Creative protest and change
Steve is the author of Street Spirit: The Power of Protest and Mischief, foreword by Ai Weiwei. At a time when protest seems to be everywhere, Steve will talk about what works and what doesn’t when seeking lasting change. As policy director at Freedom from Torture, he will also talk about the growing challenge when even elected leaders seem ready to throw away the moral compass.
Steve has unrivalled experience of global protest and change, as a journalist and human rights activist for four decades. As Russia and East Europe Editor and then Germany bureau chief at The Independent, he led the coverage of the east European revolutions, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Balkan wars. Interviewees ranged from Lech Walesa and Slobodan Milosevic to Aung San Suu Kyi. He was UK director and UN advocacy director at Human Rights Watch from 2002 to 2010. From 2010 to 2018, he was international advocacy director and Director of the Office of the Secretary General at Amnesty International. In 2016-17, he was Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics. Since 2018, he has been policy and advocacy director at Freedom from Torture.