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Reprieve

First lawyers into Guantanamo Bay.

Assisting over 70 death row inmates.

Reprieve aims to use the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners. Founded in 1999 by British lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, who cut his teeth working on death penalty cases and other civil rights issues in the southern United States, the organization has evolved since 2001 into a staunch opponent of extra-legal measures used to prosecute the ‘War on Terror’.

Largely staffed by volunteers, Reprieve has a three-pronged approach to its work, which encompasses independent investigations, litigation and public education. Recent thematic projects have included investigations into the indiscriminateness of drone strikes in Pakistan, the complicity of European states in ‘rendition’ procedures, and the ‘Stop Lethal Injection Project’, which seeks to end the use of medical technology in executions as a step towards the complete abolition of the death penalty worldwide. 

It is in defending the rights of prisoners accused of society’s most serious crimes, however, such as acts of terrorism or murder, that Reprieve has had the most tangible impact. Its lawyers have worked tirelessly in 16 different countries to support those facing the death penalty, while 66 clients have so far been released from detention in Guantanamo Bay, supported by the resettlement services of Reprieve’s ‘Life After Guantanamo’ programme.

(Photo © Reprieve)