Reprieve is an organisation of courageous and committed human rights defenders. Founded in 1999 by British human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, we provide free legal and investigative support to some of the world’s most vulnerable people: those facing execution, and those victimised by states’ abusive counter-terror policies – rendition, torture, extrajudicial imprisonment and extrajudicial killing.
Our lawyers and investigators are supported by a community of people from all around the world, connected by a belief in human rights and justice. Together, we fight for the victims of extreme human rights abuses with a combination of public pressure and legal action.
We fight our clients’ cases in courts around the world, and we also work with the media to advocate on their behalf, encouraging public debate of human rights issues. We hold the US and their European allies accountable to the highest standards in their responses to extreme crime, and we use strategic litigation to effect systemic change.
Based in London, we are currently working on behalf of over 100 people facing the death penalty in 17 countries, and 7 men imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay. We are also leading the fight against US-led missile drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. Our vision is a world free of execution, torture and detention without due process.
What we do
- We litigate on behalf of prisoners on death row around the world, appealing their sentences and ensuring that their trials are fair and just.
- We represent cleared detainees in Guantánamo Bay, helping to secure their safe release.
- We campaign to raise awareness about unlawful CIA drone strikes which routinely kill civilians in Pakistan and Yemen. We help our partners in these countries to challenge strikes in court.
- We work with the pharmaceutical industry to help them put a stop to US departments of corrections abusing their medicines in executions.
- We represent men detained in US-run secret prisons, where alleged terrorists are tortured and detained without trial beyond the rule of law.
- We investigate allegations of abuse by the police or government authorities when British civilians are arrested and detained overseas.
- We challenge governments to intervene where necessary to protect the rights and safety of their citizens.
Who we are
Reprieve has 33 full-time staff in London, two Fellows in the USA, two Fellows in Pakistan, two Fellows in Malawi, one Fellow in Yemen, and countless volunteers around the world.
What others think
Our staff were shortlisted for prestigious Charity Awards in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2017 achieving Highly Commended status each year. In 2013 we won the ‘Advice, Support and Advocacy’ category for the work Reprieve has done investigating and challenging the use of drone attacks on civilian populations.
Special Consultative Status with the United Nations (ECOSOC)
Reprieve has been granted special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Consultative status for an organisation enables it to actively engage with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, as well as with the United Nations Secretariat, programmes, funds and agencies in a number of ways.
Advocacy with the United Nations is a key part of Reprieve’s strategy to restrict and end the use of the death penalty and end abusive practices carried out by powerful governments in the name of the so-called war on terror. Over the past 20 years we have helped countries around the world honour their international human rights obligations and have developed international law to better protect the rights of the most vulnerable. Consultative status will strengthen our ability to fight for the rights of the people we assist.