Reprieve is a small, high impact human rights charity. Our lawyers and investigators assist more than 70 people facing the death penalty in 25 different countries and 17 men imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay, and are leading the fight against US-led missile drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen.
To date, we have secured the release of 67 prisoners from Guantánamo Bay – more than any other NGO or law firm in the world – and have helped over 300 clients to avoid execution overseas.
New Campaign Campaigns
Save Mohammad Asghar from execution for blasphemyMohammad Asghar is a British grandfather who suffers from a serious mental illness. He is currently facing the death penalty in Pakistan on blasphemy charges. Last week, a policeman – one of the people tasked with ensuring Mr Asghar’s safety – burst into his cell and shot him. 70-year-old Mohammad’s attack was not unusual; people accused or convicted of blasphemy in Pakistan face a high level of risk from attacks by religious extremists. Mohammad’s lawyers at legal charity Reprieve had repeatedly warned that he would not be safe in prison. What’s more, Mohammad should never have faced blasphemy charges in the first place – under Islamic law and Pakistan’s criminal law, mentally-ill people cannot be held accountable for what they do or say. Mohammad’s poor mental health has been confirmed by his UK medical record, and a sworn statement from his British psychiatrist. Mohammad is now receiving urgent treatment in hospital, where his health is worsening – but despite this, Pakistan’s police want to return him to the same prison in which he was shot. His family in Edinburgh is desperately worried about his safety. Time is running out for Mohammad to be released and reunited with his family in Britain. Prime Minister David Cameron must use this window of opportunity and ask the Pakistani government to release Mohammed to the UK, rather than sending him back to prison. Mohammad is an ill, vulnerable man who has suffered a near-fatal attack. It is clear that his sentence is unjust, and his life is at risk if he remains in Pakistan. He must be returned to the UK at the earliest opportunity.74,189 of 75,000 SignaturesCreated by Matthew Leidecker
Please save our dad from execution in EthiopiaOur dad, Andargachew ‘Andy’ Tsege from Islington, London, was kidnapped by Ethiopian security forces from an airport in Yemen in June 2014. He is now held in a brutal prison in Ethiopia. We're not able to speak to him, and we have no idea what is going to happen to him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jqmqj0Pvmfg In 2009, the Ethiopian regime said that they would execute our dad for his political activism. Now they’ve kidnapped him - and they are even preventing British consular staff from checking on his welfare. Time is running out to save his life. Please, Prime Minister, tell the Ethiopians to let our dad come home. Andy made Britain (London) his home in 1979, after fleeing political persecution by the Ethiopian government. He is a prominent opposition activist, working towards a democratic Ethiopia. In 2009, the regime said that they would execute our dad if he ever returned. Since Dad’s disappearance, our family has been in agony. We still don’t know where our dad is being held, or how he is being treated. The only glimpse we’ve had of him was when he was paraded on Ethiopian state TV giving a forced 'confession' in July 2014. He looked thin and unwell. So far the Ethiopian government has ignored British requests for ‘assurance’ that our dad will not be executed. We also know that torture is very common in Ethiopia, and we are desperately worried about his safety in detention. Dad is a kind, loving and caring man – we are so worried about him and miss him so much. We need him home with us in London. Please, Prime Minister, tell the Ethiopians to let our dad come home. His kidnapping and detention is a serious breach of international law – please take firm action with the Ethiopian authorities and demand his return to the UK without delay. (This petition was written by Yemi Hailemariam, Andy’s partner, and their children: Helawit, Menabe, and Yilak.)141,468 of 200,000 SignaturesCreated by Yemi Hailemariam
Emergency Petition: Free British Citizen AndyThe UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond landed in Addis Ababa today – just miles from where my partner (a British citizen) Andy is being illegally imprisoned under sentence of death. He could use this visit to demand Andy’s freedom and bring him home to our family in London, and pressure is building on him to do so. Andy made Britain (London) his home in 1979, after fleeing political persecution by the Ethiopian government. He is a prominent opposition activist, working towards a democratic Ethiopia. In 2009, the regime said that they would execute Andy if he ever returned. But he was kidnapped by Ethiopian security forces from an airport in Yemen in June 2014 and rendered to Ethiopia. He is now held in a brutal prison in Ethiopia. We're not able to speak to him, and we have no idea what is going to happen to him. Until now Philip Hammond has refused to demand Andy’s release. If he’s going to change his position, he needs to know that he’s out of step with public opinion – and we need to remind him that he has a duty to Andy’s children to bring their father home. If enough of us sign this petition, we could convince Hammond to follow our lead and make a demand directly to the authorities who are holding Andy. We have to act fast – Hammond’s visit is only for two days.28,791 of 30,000 SignaturesCreated by Yemi Hailemariam
Take me off the drone kill listLast week, I travelled to England at the invitation of Lord Ken MacDonald. I told my story to show the UK and the US that I am not the kind of person they want to murder. I spoke to members of Parliament, who have written a letter on my behalf. But, Phillip Hammond and Teresa May would not meet with me. Nor would anyone else in the UK or US governments. From them, I received only silence. Many people have already been killed in the strikes targeting me. When I leant my vehicle to my nephew, it was targeted by a missile and he was nearly killed. When I accepted a friend’s dinner invitation, his house was hit just before I arrived, killing three people. When my colleagues met to resolve a local dispute, they were targeted and 40 innocent people were killed. My children are terrified that next time they will succeed and kill me. But I am worried that they will become victims too. Please take me off the kill list.10,657 of 15,000 SignaturesCreated by Malik Jalal
The British government must protect its citizens from the death penaltyA competent lawyer is key to avoiding a death sentence. One of the greatest challenges we face in our work is the absence of, or restrictions to, legal aid in certain jurisdictions. This means that the poorest and most vulnerable individuals cannot secure lawyers, are at far greater risk of being sentenced to death, and are then unable to appeal their sentences. The British government opposes the death penalty and says it is pushing for worldwide abolition. Yet it is the only government in the western world willing to stand back and watch as its own citizens face the firing squad in a foreign country, refusing to loan citizens money, even when they have nowhere else to turn. There are not many people in this situation, but the few who are are in countries without functioning legal aid systems. In these countries, death sentences are handed out for minor drug offences, blasphemy, or adultery. Trials are often unfair, and prisoners without lawyers are routinely tortured. A helping hand from our government could mean the difference between life and death. We have long been appealing to the British government to step in and assist nationals facing the death penalty overseas, who have no other means of obtaining legal representation. Most abolitionist states - and a number of retentionist - step in to prevent their nationals from being executed by funding local lawyers. This means that their citizens' rights are upheld, and they are able to defend themselves when their lives are at stake. The British government, too, must show that it is serious about opposing the death penalty, and about protecting its citizens abroad.1,765 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Matthew Leidecker