Sharif Mobley

Defend prisoners like Sharif held in secret prisons. Donate now.

Sharif Mobley is a father of three from New Jersey who moved with his family to Yemen. He was snatched off the streets by eight armed men wearing balaclavas, shot and then tortured.

He has been detained in Yemen since 2010, and is facing a potential death sentence.

In February 2014, Sharif disappeared, and Reprieve has been unable to trace his location.

Reprieve is representing Sharif in the Yemeni courts and fighting to save him from unlawful detention. But on the eve of a court hearing at which evidence of US involvement in his kidnap and torture was to be presented, Sharif was ‘disappeared’. He was last seen by Reprieve’s legal team in February 2014, and all efforts to trace his location have failed.

“It’s hard to believe that, nine months on from Sharif Mobley’s disappearance, we are no closer to the Yemeni government admitting where they have taken our client. Mr Mobley’s family and lawyers need immediate access to him to determine how he has been treated, and why he disappeared on the eve of a crucial hearing.
Cori Crider, Sharif’s lawyer and Strategic Director at Reprieve

Sharif was born and raised in New Jersey and lived in the US until 2008, when he moved to Yemen with his wife and young daughter. In 2009 the security situation in Yemen deteriorated, and they decided it was time to go home to the States. But they were unable to leave after American Embassy officials refused to process the family’s papers.

Sharif’s ordeal began in January 2010 when he was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen from outside his house in Sana’a, shot in the leg, and held incommunicado for several months. During his detention, Sharif was shackled to a bed for 24 hours a day and beaten. He was interrogated by two US agents, who identified themselves only as “Matt from FBI and Khan from DOD”. They told him that he would be raped in prison, that his wife would be abducted, that his children would be put in an orphanage, and that he would never see his family again. They dangled the keys to his house in his face; he was terrified for his wife’s safety. After Sharif’s wife reported his kidnap to the US Embassy, their family home was raided in the middle of the night. She and their two children were held at gunpoint and strip-searched.

Since mid-2010, Sharif has faced charges relating to the death of a police officer in the course of an alleged attempt to escape from the hospital where he was being treated after he’d been beaten. In July 2014 a Yemeni court issued an official order demanding that the government return Sharif for the next hearing and explain his disappearance. The Attorney General’s office confirmed that Sharif’s disappearance was politically motivated, saying: “His disappearance has nothing to do with the charges he is facing.”

“Since 2010 when the US and Yemeni authorities first kidnapped Sharif, tortured and shot him, he has repeatedly been kept beyond the reach of the law. The Yemeni authorities continue their scandalous mistreatment of him through this second enforced disappearance and attempting to hold his trial without him and in secret. In these circumstances, justice cannot be served. He must be produced to his lawyers and the charges against him must be dropped.”
Cori Crider, Sharif’s lawyer and Strategic Director at Reprieve

Defend prisoners like Sharif held in secret prisons. Donate now.

Press Releases