Marcello Ferrada de Noli (born 25 July 1943 in Chile) is a Swedish professor emeritus of epidemiology, and medicine doktor in psychiatry (Ph.D. Karolinska Institute, Sweden). He was Research Fellow and lecturer at Harvard Medical School, and was later head of the research group of Cross-Cultural Injury Epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute until 2009. Ferrada de Noli is known for his investigations on suicidal behaviour associated with severe trauma. He is the founder of the NGO Swedish Doctors for Human Rights, SWEDHR.
Education: Bachiller en Humanidades (Filosofía), Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso, 1961. Bachiller en Humanidades, mención Letras, 1962, and Profesor de Filosofía, 1969, University of Chile. Licentiate in Medical Sciences in psychiatry, 1995, and Ph.D. in psychiatry, 1996, Karolinska Institute, Sweden. Postdoctoral: Research Fellow in Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, United States, 1996-1997. Earlier doctoral studies in Practical philosophy, Stockholm University, Sweden, and finalized doctoral studies in Applied psychology, University of Lund.
Ferrada de Noli was full Professor of Psychology at the University of Chile, Arica, 1970. Invited Professor at Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, México,1972. At the time of the 1973 Chilean coup d'état he was full Professor of Psychosocial Methods at the University of Concepción.
Ferrada de Noli held various research positions at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, from assistant researcher at the Social and Forensic Psychiatry Department (1987) to Senior Research Scientist at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Psychiatry Section (1997). Professor of Health Psychology, University of Tromsø, Norway 1997. He qualified as a full Professor of Health promotion, and as a Professor of Cross-cultural psychology, at the University of Bergen, Norway, 1999, and was thereafter Invited Professor of Cross-Cultural Psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway, 2000. In Sweden he was Full Professor of Public-Health Epidemiology at the University of Gävle, position shared at Karolinska Institute, Department of Social Medicine 2002-2007. Invited Professor of International Health, University of Gävle, 2007. Professor Emeritus (title), 2007. He was appointed Affiliate Professor at the Medical Faculty, University of Chile, 2006.
His scholarly work has been cited in about 800 scientific articles and books, In the journal Clinical Psychology Review (2009), three authors wrote that Ferrada de Noli and co-workers had found a new pathway in the pathogenesis of suicidal behaviour associated with PTSD. The review concluded that Ferrada de Noli and his co-workers "demonstrated that among refugees with PTSD, major depression was not substantially associated with heightened levels of suicidal behaviour". Meaning that the path to severe suicide attempts in PTSD victims was not mediated by depression - as it was thought before - but linked directly to PTSD. The discovery indicated modifications in prevention and treatment of suicidal behaviour. Another finding was significant correlations between specific methods in suicidal behavior and methods used in torture inflicted to prisoners later diagnosed with PTSD. In the book Suicide and the Holocaust Professor David Lester referred to that finding, and summarized: "for example those subjected to water torture thought of using drowning”. He established ethnicity as significant risk factor for suicidal deaths in Sweden, and found statistically significant markers associating Socioeconomic Status (SES) and suicidal behaviour in Sweden. From 2004-2007 and 2007-2012 he was appointed by the Swedish government alternate scientific member of the Swedish Central Ethical Review Board Etikprövningsnämnd for research.
The Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (2008) described Ferrada de Noli as “left-liberal”, and newspaper Ystads Allehanda (2013) writes, “Left-liberal. But his conservative past continued to chase him”. In newspaper Expressen (2018) Ferrada de Noli declared he participated as “social-libertarian” in the foundation of the guerrilla organization MIR in 1965, as well of been transitorely active in the Swedish Liberal Party during the 80’s – which at the time had a social-liberal profile in Swedish politics.
In an op-ed in Dagens Nyheter (2015) de Noli advocated for Sweden to return being a neutral country “as it was in Olof Palme’s times”, and “resuming an active role in the work for peace and respect for human rights in the world”. Ferrada de Noli has been referred to as one of the founders of the Revolutionary Left Movement (Chile), MIR (1965), and co-author of the “Political-Military Thesis” approved in the foundation congress. MIR was a far left guerrilla organization with roots in the Socialist Party of Chile, where he had participated in the regional board of its youth organization in Concepción. MIR was considered Pinochet regime’s “number one counterinsurgency target”. He was detained several times by the government authorities, and was among the 13 leaders of MIR listed in the national arrest warrant issued by the Chilean authorities prosecuting MIR’s subversion activities in 1969. He was finally captured and held incommunicado in Concepción’s Prison.
After the aborted MIR resistance to the military in Concepción ensuing the 1973 Chilean coup d'état, Ferrada de Noli was captured and held prisoner in Quiriquina Island. In a photo of the epoch in newspaper La Tercera, he appeared among prisoners described as “extremists that have attacked the military forces with fire weapons”.
In 1974 he went to Italy to participate as a witness at the Russell Tribunal in Rome, which reviewed human rights transgressions by the Government Junta of Chile.
In Sweden, he continued in MIR until 1977 as head of MIR and Junta Coordinadora Revolucionaria counter-intelligence activity in Scandinavia, undertaking aimed the monitoring of Operation Condor. In 1976 he started working as psychotherapist at health services for political refugees in Stockholm County, and 1989 in crisis therapy provided at the Swedish Red Cross Project for traumatized and torture-survivor refugees. During mid-80s he participated in the Swedish Liberal Party.
Following retirement, Ferrada de Noli founded the online magazine The Indicter , dealing with "human rights and geopolitical issues", as read in the magazine's banner.
Earlier academic controversies have involved articles in Swedish medical journals and media on his public opposition to the Swedish diagnose “utbrändhet” (work-related stress ‘burnout’), which he said didn’t have epidemiological ground. After he wrote in DN that one risk factor for “utbrändhet” in women could be stress caused by a double working load, at the job and then at home –contradicting the notion of an advanced Swedish gender equality, Minister Mona Sahlin commented that his thesis was “a bid insulting, to say the least”. Later in 2005, Aftonbladet published a half front-page headline, “Professor in attack against the burned-out”. It referred an interview where Ferrada de Noli stated that to be displeased with a job cannot be equated with a medical diagnosis, and a new debate ensued in the Swedish media. In 1998, at that time professor in Norway, De Noli requested the legal extradition of General Augusto Pinochet, to be judged in a European court on allegations of torture and war crimes.
De Noli has been criticized in the Swedish media for his public defence of Julian Assange. He published the book Sweden vs. Assange. Human Rights Issues, claiming that the case was instead political. In a RT (TV network) interview, 2012, he said that “WikiLeaks is a lifeboat to democracy”, and 2011, via Jennifer Robinson (lawyer), he submitted to the London Court deliberating the extradition of Assange, a testimony based on his investigation “Swedish Trial by Media”. In 2012, Swedish Radio said in a broadcast that Ferrada de Noli has implicated “a social democratic feminist working together with ‘arms-(exports) companies’ trying to get Assange”. Ferrada Noli denied that and asked Swedish Radio for a retraction. In a reportage about Ferrada de Noli's human rights undertakings done by the Italian newspaper L'Eco di Bergamo (January 2019), he was asked why he defended Assange's deeds "instead of regard it illegal or criminal". De Noli replied, "According to International Law, what could instead be considered as criminal is what Assange has denounced",
Questioning of reported evidence on the alleged gas attacks in Khan Shaykhun
The opinions of de Noli that elicited international controversy in 2017, refer to his publications and statements questioning the evidence around allegations of gas attacks in Syria by government forces. In December 2017, the Russian permanent representative to the UN submitted to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) an article from the magazine The Indicter authored by Ferrada de Noli, in which he alleged epidemiological bias in the report issued by the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism on the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack of April 2017 in Syria.
European mainstream media, e.g. Le Figaro, ARD/BR, and Der Spiegel have raised criticism on Ferrada de Noli’s articles with geopolitical content, published by SWEDHR and in the online magazine The Indicter. Dagens Nyheter, together with other Swedish newspapers, e.g. Aftonbladet Expressen, Göteborgs-Posten, Västerbottens-Kuriren, Uppsala Nya Tidning, also have addressed Ferrada de Noli's “frequent interviews in Russian media and Russian-government international propaganda channels”, and questioned the mentions to his work and to his organization SWEDHR done at press briefings of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
Ferrada de Noli’s contested the media criticism in the journal of the Swedish Medical Association Läkartidningen, claiming that SWEDHR is “absolutely independent”. In an interview done on the subject, he declared, “We only have our own line. Whether that coincide or not with the positions of different countries, that is not our intention”. Other official documents of the UNSC indicate that SWEDHR publications in The Indicter authored by de Noli have been cited or included in documents submitted at the UNSC by the Russian and Syrian ambassadors, added the Russian envoys at the OPCW or the ambassador to the UK.
Geneva Press Club
The Geneva Press Club (Club Suisse de la Presse) organized a conference in November 2017 to debate events in Syria. Reporters Without Borders (RWB) called for its cancellation, arguing against an invitation to Ferrada de Noli to hold a keynote address, being “president of an organization that, according with our information, acts as a tool of Russian propaganda.” De Noli called RWB on Twitter to “publish your evidence now, or shame”. Guy Mettan, president of the Geneva Press Club, dismissed the attacks as “not worth of journalism”. The conference ultimately took place with police protection due to reported threats. Earlier that year the Russian TV network Rossiya-24 had also reported on alleged threats to Ferrada de Noli, to which he commented in the interview, “SWEDHR is not afraid and will continue its work”.
At early events around the Skripal poison incident in Salisbury, de Noli was subject of new criticism in Danish TV and Swedish media (e.g. Dagens Nyheter) after he was interviewed on the topic by Sputnik, in his capacity of chief editor of the online geopolitical magazine The Indicter. De Noli's thesis was that the poison Novichok would have been developed in Uzbekistan, not in Russia, and its possession by other countries could not be ruled out. According to Dagens Nyheter, he would have declared in an interview done with him by the newspaper April 2, 2018, that the Skripal incident could be a case of False flag in anticipating an eventual confrontation sought by the United Kingdom against Russia.
- Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, México,1972: Mención Especial al Mérito.
- Instituto Superior de Ciencias Médicas de la Habana, Cuba, 2005. Award.
- University of Gävle, Sweden, 2007. “Title of Distinction Professor Emeritus. In value of meritorious academic services”.
- Swedish Reward medal “For Zealous and Devoted Service of the Realm”.
Marcello Ferrada de Noli was born in Copiapó, Chile, in family of Italian origin, descendants to the nobleman and navigator Antonio de Noli. His father was a company owner and retired officer in the armed forces. His mother, professor at the University of Concepción. He lives in Italy and is the father of seven sons and one daughter.
- 1962 Cantos de Rebelde Esperanza (Poetry)
- 1969 Universidad y Superstructura (Philosophy)
- 1972 Teoría y Método de la Concientización (Social psychology)
- 1982 The Theory of Alienation and the Diathesis of Psychosomatic Pathology (Philosophy, psychiatry)
- 1993 Chalice of Love (Philosophy, fiction)
- 1995 Psychiatric and Forensic Findings in Definite and Undetermined Suicides (Epidemiology, forensic psychiatry)
- 1996 Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Immigrants to Sweden (Psychiatry)
- 2003 Efter tortyr (Contributor author)(Torture, psychiatry)
- 2009 Oxford Textbook of Suicidology and Suicide Prevention (Contributor author)(Psychiatry)
- 2013 Da Noli a Capo Verde (Contributor author)(History)
- 2014 Sweden VS. Assange. Human Rights Issues (Geopolitics, human rights)
- 2016 Orígenes del MIR (Political history)
- 2018 Con Bautista van Schouwen (Political history)
- 2019 Pablo de Rokha y la joven generación del MIR (Political history)