A message from Reprieve’s Founder, Clive Stafford Smith
As this year draws to a close, it’s important to look back on the successes we’ve had so far and the challenges of the year ahead.
In 2017, we must all work harder for the causes we care about. Across the world, basic rights are under threat and the most marginalised are counting on us to speak out. If you’re worried about the direction we’re headed in, then it’s time to stand up for what you believe. Here at Reprieve, we’re ready – ready to fight harder, smarter and longer to save lives and deliver justice.
Are you ready to fight with us? Any donations you make today will be doubled by matched funding and make twice the difference.
As we look ahead to 2017, we know that the coming year will test all of those who believe in fairness, equality and human rights. Here’s just some of what we facing:
- The US will have a President who wants to bring back ‘‘a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding’’, because he doesn’t think that torture was “tough enough”.
- Guantánamo remains open, and 60 men are still being held and abused there.
- Saudi Arabia continues to hand down death sentences to children, the mentally ill, and political protesters.
- US states are “going underground” in their efforts to source execution drugs, using illicit and illegal means to obtain medicines for use in lethal injection while evading scrutiny by passing sweeping “execution secrecy” laws.
2016 has been a tumultuous year, so it can be easy to forget all the things we have achieved by working together. Here’s just some of what we’ve achieved:
- 81-year-old BBC journalist Shafik Rehman was released in Bangladesh after Reprieve took on his case and thousands of us joined the campaign to free him.
- 3 more of our clients were released from Guantánamo Bay, bringing the total number of men we’ve helped to free to 77 – that’s more than any other organisation.
- 2016 saw “the end of the open market for lethal injection drugs”, after Pfizer became the final FDA-approved manufacturer to block their sale to death rows. Lack of access to drugs for lethal injection resulted in the lowest number of US executions since 1991, while public support for the death penalty in the US fell below 50% for the first time in 40 years.
- We twice helped to temporarily stay the execution of schizophrenic Pakistani prisoner Imdad Ali when he was hours away from the noose. The fight goes on to get his sentence commuted for good.
Reprieve doesn’t just save lives one at a time by representing those most at risk – we challenge entire systems of injustice. We cannot let these successes be undone or rolled back. To fight the battles that Reprieve will face in 2017, we need your support.
Every petition you sign, letter you write and appeal you donate to helps us continue our fight against the most extreme human rights abuses. We couldn’t do it without you.
Thank you for campaigning so hard for victims of human rights abuses this year, and thank you for donating now to make sure Reprieve is ready to fight back and hit the ground running in 2017.