Reprieve delivers justice and saves lives, from death row to Guantánamo Bay.
On Friday the Court of Appeal in Kenya unanimously ruled that the mandatory death penalty for murder was unconstitutional. This judgment will save the lives of hundreds of prisoners on death row.
It was held that the automatic imposition of the death penalty violated the right to life, and amounted to inhuman punishment, as it provides no opportunity for a convicted individual to adduce evidence of mitigating circumstances. The Court also stated that the same reasoning would apply to other crimes currently bearing a mandatory death sentence, such as treason and robbery with violence.
A new set of judicial procedures ...
Teenagers tend to be pigeon-holed in one of three ways: hood-wearing hooligans, self-indulgent depressives or iPhone-obsessed brats; so where do girls like Azar Bagheri fit in?
At the tender age of 14 her marriage was arranged. Just a few months later she was accused of adultery by her husband, who has since denounced their marriage, and arrested. At trial Azar was sentenced to be stoned to death.
Now 18-years-old, Azar has spent most of her teenage years on death row because Iranian authorities have recently become reluctant to execute minors (although this was not always the case). However, this did ...
Today Japan hanged two people, in its first executions since the Democratic Party of Japan took power last September.
Justice Minister Keiko Chiba, a former member of the Japan Parliamentary League against the Death Penalty, has asked for a review of the death penalty at the justice ministry. This would be a welcome move - regardless of the fact that the death penalty itself is regarded as a violation of human rights in Europe (as laid down by Protocol 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights), there are a number of additional concerns surrounding Japan’s policy of capital punishment ...
China may reduce the number of crimes attracting the death penalty, but will revised legislation make a significant difference to sky-high execution rates?
The precise number of executions carried out each year in China is a state secret, but is estimated to number in the thousands. Crimes currently deemed serious enough to merit a sentence of death by shooting or lethal injection include stealing historical relics, tax fraud, and receiving bribes. In total, there are 68 capital offences.
However, reports in the Chinese and Western media over the past few days have suggested that the state may soon adjust its ...
Yesterday a letter was sent to Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, expressing the signatories’ concern and dismay at the new government’s recent announcement that it will imminently resume execution of its death row prisoners.
It was signed by, among others, Reprieve, Amicus, the Bar Human Rights Committee and the Law Society.
No execution has been carried out in Trinidad and Tobago since 1999, but the country’s new administration seems to feel that a strong pro-death penalty stance will prove a popular response to high and rising rates of intentional homicide and other violent crime ...
Last week, the Pakistan Police Torture Team officially moved in to our new Birmingham offices, set in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter (which certainly lives up to its name) in the city centre.
This will now be our base as we try to identify and take witness statements of those British Pakistanis that have suffered abuse at the hands of the police over in Pakistan.
Setting up the office marks the start of the project, and it has now been exponentially transformed from a dusty storage unit into a fully-fledged professional office. The excitement of a new office complete ...
Reprieve has challenged the appointment of Sir Peter Gibson as the Chair of the forthcoming inquiry into complicity in torture on the part of the intelligence services. I want to make the reasons for this very clear.
We are certainly not saying that Sir Peter is not an excellent and very senior judge. We do not want to launch any sort of personal attack on him. However, we do feel that, for a number of reasons, it is not appropriate for him to chair the inquiry.
When Prime Minister David Cameron launched the inquiry, he said that it was in ...
This is the text of Reprieve's letter to Sir Peter Gibson, asking him to reconsider his position. The fully referenced letter is attached below.
July 19, 2010
Rt. Hon. Sir Peter Gibson
The Intelligence Services Commissioner
c/o 2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF
Re: Torture Inquiry - Recusal
Dear Sir Peter:
I am, naturally, very glad that there is to be an inquiry into the complicity of Britain in torture. However, if the inquiry is to achieve its stated goals – including ridding Britain of the stain that has blemished our reputation – it is essential that the procedure used is ...
I hope media and courtroom flurries this week have reminded readers of a man the US government would rather they forget: my Guantanamo client and Algerian refugee Ahmed Belbacha.
As reported by the Washington Post, Ahmed and five other Algerians in Guantánamo Bay are deadlocked in a fight to stay there. Peter Finn reports that, while the Obama Administration would send these men home tomorrow, the prisoners are terrified to go, and are willing to wait in Guantánamo until a safe home can be found.
The issue is being fought out in the Supreme Court as I write this. If ...
Reprieve's client Shabbir Zaib was acquitted in February after 17 months in a Pakistani prison.
In this interview with Scotland's Daily Record, he talks about how he came to be imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, and how it feels to be back home in Glasgow.