Reprieve delivers justice and saves lives, from death row to Guantánamo Bay.
We're here in Nairobi on the eve of the OGOA summit, when the Secretary of State, HiIllary Clinton, is slated to meet various African heads of state. Some of those leaders still have nationals in Guantánamo, including President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, the leader of the government of Somalia.
One Reprieve client, Ismail Mohamoud Mohamed, knew Sheikh Sharif very well. Ismail was one of the founding fathers of the 'Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia', the coalition party that won the elections and propelled Sheikhf Sharif Ahmed to the Presidency at the start of this year. With new leaders in ...
Alex Harpe on the 1000th execution by lethal injection in the United States.
You have been up all night thinking about your life and the decisions and circumstances that have led you to this point. Maybe you regret some of your actions, maybe you don’t. You hear the heavy steps of the guards outside your cell and you know that the time has come. They are here to take you to be killed.
You are walked to the execution room and strapped down to a gurney. A nervous looking man walks up to you and rubs some alcohol on ...
Imagine, if you will, that I have had a twinge of conscience, and I come to you with an admission – I have been complicit in kidnapping.
I have worked with a gang that grabbed a man against his will, took him from his home, tortured him, and even now continues to hold him in some secret location. I tell you that I feel bad about what I did, and ask your understanding and forgiveness.
Perhaps you feel some sympathy for me, and respect the difficulty of my confession.
Naturally, you ask me who the victim of this crime is. “I ...
Reprieve's Fellow in Pakistan Sultana Noon reports on her last attempt to attend a hearing for Naheem Hussain and Rehan Zaman, who have been in prison for 5 years without trial.
Naheem and Rehan have always expressed frustration about the judicial process in Pakistan and how painfully slow it is – I went to their last hearing on July 9th 2009 and here is my account of the how the day proceeded. It was just one day for me, but for them it happens every time.
I arrived at the Mirpur District Court at about 10:15am for a hearing ...
We are very excited – according to the Times List, our Chair Lord Bingham and our Director Clive Stafford Smith are numbers 4 and 6 respectively on the list of the top 100 most powerful and influential lawyers practising in Britain today.
The Times remarked that Clive had come to particular prominence in the last year for his work with ex-Guantánamo-detainee Binyam Mohamed, more specifically the action in which we are currently involved, which deals with MI5’s complicity in torture. Lord Bingham became our Chair in January this year, although it ...
The very secrecy of secret evidence makes meaningful conversations on the subject rather tricky, but the Guardian has put together a panel of people with first-hand experience of the problems that arise when the British government witholds evidence from the courts. Clive is joined by Ian Cobain, Gareth Peirce and Ian MacDonald QC to talk about whether we can trust the government to use secret evidence honestly and fairly.
As a Reprieve Fellow in Texas, I work with prisoners who - like Willie Earl Pondexter, Jr. - are sentenced to death on the sole basis of 'future-dangerousness'.
The long history of the death penalty is rooted in our belief that the worst of the worst ought to be executed, not only for retribution but for protection. It is because of the latter that capital punishment eligibility in Texas revolves around a single question: does a man who commits a capital crime pose a future danger?
This is the question at the heart of the case of Mr. Willie Earl Pondexter, Jr ...
The U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services held a hearing on 07 July 2009 to determine the legal difficulties in continuing the military commissions held at Guantánamo Bay. I've listed some of the most alarming aspects here.
In case you missed it, President Obama has announced that military commissions will resume in Guantánamo. He has made five major changes to the Military Commissions Act 2006, namely that:
Are President Obama's Military Commissions, due to start this week, really any different from those designed by the Bush Administration?
Reprieve was dismayed by President Obama’s decision to resurrect 'kangaroo court' military commissions to try prisoners at Guantánamo Bay.
The Bush-era commissions are now acknowledged to have failed miserably. Even with President Obama’s tinkering, they remain structurally dysfunctional and incapable of delivering meaningful justice.
Here at Reprieve, we see no legal reason why the prisoners from Guantánamo cannot be processed in the American criminal court system. As Clive Stafford Smith has said, it is a sad day ...
I've spent the week in Lisbon, discussing how Portugal might offer more ex-Guantánamo prisoners a home.
In meetings with various organisations and government ministers, I described how all our Guantánamo clients have settled peacefully back into the community. The politicians were largely supportive, and my hunch is it was a very successful trip.
Back in December Reprieve were delighted when Portugal became the first European country to grant refugee status to detainees who had been declared innocent but could not return to their home countries for fear of persecution. Click here to read the press release.
Click below to ...