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Center for Victims of Torture Mourns the Loss of David Weissbrodt, Founder and Leader

Published November 12, 2021

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Center for Victims of Torture™ (CVT) today issued the following statement in response to the death of a key founder and long-time leader, David Weissbrodt.

“We are deeply saddened at the loss of David Weissbrodt, whose vision and commitment to human rights created change and progress both here in Minnesota and around the world. David’s role with CVT was profound, as one of our original founders and a member of our very first board of directors – a role he held for 22 years. Throughout CVT’s history, David has been an advisor, a leader, a thinker, and someone who repeatedly rolled up his sleeves and took action to move our organization, and the field of human rights, forward.

“It was David who answered the call from Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich in the mid-1980s to find ways to better support human rights in the state. David went on an exploratory trip to Denmark to visit the only torture rehabilitation center in the world at that time. When the team returned, David wrote the memo that urged the establishment of a multidisciplinary center in Minnesota. As well as being one of our founders, he was one of our most passionate advocates and tireless champions.

“David’s work went far beyond CVT, with particular accomplishment in the field of international human rights law and as a Regents Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. David served on the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, was appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of non-citizens, and was selected as a member of the board of trustees of the UN Trust Fund for Contemporary Forms of Slavery. 

“But it was his dedication to survivors of torture and the rights of people suffering oppression that made such a huge difference to us at CVT. We will always be grateful to David and we will always treasure his contributions.” – Pete Dross, CVT director of external relations


The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit organization headquartered in St. Paul, MN, with offices in Atlanta, GA, and Washington, D.C.; and healing initiatives in Africa and the Middle East. Visit www.cvt.org

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