1. Drone from beneath

    British authorities take a hard line on newspapers, but not the intelligence services

    Reprieve on 03 January 2014

    By Johanna Hortolani

    British authorities take a hard line on newspapers, but not the intelligence services

    For over a decade, whenever German chancellor Angela Merkel talked on her mobile phone – chatting to fellow ministers of her government, or simply to discuss dinner plans with her husband – we now know that the NSA was listening in on her every word. Now media reports suggest that the United Kingdom played a vital role in this spying on its European partners.

    Documents released by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden and further US reports imply that material gathered from a listening post at the US ...

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  2. Drone from beneath

    What's in a name?

    Jen Gibson on 20 December 2013

    What’s in a name? According to Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond earlier this week - everything. It’s the reason we, the public, have been so easily misled by the ‘uninformed mantra’ of ‘“drone” activists’. If we only understood that the Reaper was actually a remotely piloted air system, rather than a drone, all our worries would disappear.

    We wouldn’t be concerned by the growing reports of civilian casualties in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Reports coming not just by ‘activists’, but from governments, investigative journalists and prestigious universities alike.

    We wouldn’t be concerned by the growing use ...

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  3. Krishna Maharaj

    A Christmas Thank You

    Reprieve on 18 December 2013

    Marita Maharaj expresses her gratitude to the anonymous benefactor who keeps her from destitution, and allows her to give her husband Kris Maharaj a small amount of money each week so he can eat a little bit better than allowed by the 56¢ (30p) per meal spent by the Department of Corrections. Marita and Kris are both 74 years old and have suffered terribly during the 27 years Kris has spent in prison – half of the time on death row - for a crime he did not commit

    Added to this are the thanks from Reprieve for those who donate to ...

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  4. Generic Interrogation chair colour

    The Guantánamo Review of Books

    Niamh Quille on 18 December 2013

    In his recent article for The Guardian, Clive Stafford Smith outlined the perplexing censorship on books at Guantánamo Bay. The following books, ranging from the Bible to Jack and the Beanstalk, have all been barred from the detainees. If have a book you’d like to submit, please write to Clive at 

     An incomplete selection of books banned from Guantánamo Bay 

    • Martin Amis - Money
    • R. Beckett -  The New Dinkum Aussie Dictionary
    • Lord Thomas Bingham - The Rule of Law
    • Russell Brand - Booky Wook Two
    • Prof. Alan Dershowitz - Blasphemy: How the Religious Right is Hijacking our ...

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  5. Cortney Busch BW 2011

    An ironic birthday message for Shaker Aamer

    Cortney Busch on 17 December 2013

    On December 21st, Shaker Aamer will turn 47 years old. For twelve years, Shaker has celebrated his birthday in US captivity, the last eleven spent in Guantánamo Bay despite having been cleared for release by both Presidents Bush and Obama.

    I sent Shaker a birthday card to let him know that he is not forgotten. (If you would like to send Shaker a birthday message or post to any of the men in Guantánamo, see below.)  After addressing the envelope, I affixed the postage and was struck speechless at the stark representation of the ludicrousness that is ...

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  6. Clare Algar BW

    The two new films exposing the US drone wars around the world

    Clare Algar on 22 November 2013

    When I heard that two films about the US’ drones war were coming out at almost the same time, I had a ‘no buses, then two buses’ response. But I was wrong. Each film is brilliant and they are distinct while complementing each other very well. You should absolutely see both films, as one gives an overarching view of what the US is doing now in terms of its foreign policy, while the other focuses in on three families in Waziristan whose lives have been devastated by drone strikes. By watching both, you get the big picture and also how ...

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  7. Shaker Aamer Waving

    Shaker Aamer’s message to the World

    Reprieve on 20 November 2013

    It is not about GTMO anymore, we must think bigger. We need to have a world-wide justice movement.  We need the 99% to get involved, not just the one percent who are causing the problems. The people understand today that if the USA has Guantánamo for Muslim men today, tomorrow it will be another country with another victim. 

    Who will take up my challenges?

    We must send a message for the whole world to sign a petition.  We need millions of people to be involved.

    We must contact all the medical associations in the world. Let them send letters ...

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  8. Emad

    Eleven Years Lost in Translation

    Reprieve on 15 November 2013

    Until I started working at Reprieve, I did not often think of Guantánamo Bay – the torture that detainees have endured, scores still held there despite being cleared (84 of 164, or 51% of them), the horrors of force-feeding, a black mark on America’s reputation for decency and human rights. 

    Translating to a high standard is difficult – that’s why people do degrees before they ask to be paid to translate even material of little consequence. I should know. I am German, and – to give just one example – I have tripped over the word “irritated” on numerous occasions myself ...

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  9. Donald Campbell

    5 questions the ISC should ask the intelligence agencies

    Donald Campbell on 07 November 2013

    Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee is today questioning the heads of Britain's intelligence agencies, MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.  Although billed by many as a "grilling," it is sadly highly unlikely that the committee will ask the tough questions it needs to - it's worth remembering that the ISC completely missed UK complicity in rendition and torture, giving the agencies a clean bill of health in 2007 - three years after MI6 had helped send Gaddafi opponents to the Libyan dictator's torture chambers.

    So to fill the gap, here are five questions which the ISC should - but probably won ...

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  10. Donald Campbell

    As drone victims testified to Congress, Obama met the arms company which makes missiles for drones

    Donald Campbell on 31 October 2013

    In an interesting spot, journalist Alice Ollstein today noted that, while Reprieve clients the Rehman family were testifying at Congress about the day a drone strike killed their grandmother in North-West Pakistan, President Obama was meeting the CEOs of arms companies including Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. 

    Both firms are involved in the manufacture of drones - although the Predators and Reapers which fly covert missions over Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere are made by another firm, General Atomics. 

    More significantly though, Lockheed is the manufacturer of the Hellfire missile - the weapon of choice in drone strikes, and the one which is ...

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