Reprieve delighted at release of Mirza Tahir Hussain.

November 17, 2006

Reprieve has expressed delight at the news that Mirza Tahir Hussain has been released from prison in Pakistan this morning. The news comes a day after President Musharraf announced that he had commuted Tahir’s death sentence to life in prison.

Reprieve Legal Director, Clive Stafford Smith said, “We are thrilled that Tahir has been released, and can be reunited with his family. He has spent half his life in prison, but now he can finally look forward to putting this terrible ordeal behind him.”

Reprieve spokesman Nick Yarris, who spent 23 years on death row in Pennsylvania before his exoneration in 2004, has expressed his concern for Tahir:

“It is truly horrific that any man must spend 18 years hoping for life to begin again, but now come many challenges for Mr. Hussain. Tahir must be allowed to readjust to a life of freedom at his own pace, surrounded by loved ones and friends. He will need space to reacquaint himself with a world that has changed dramatically in the last 18 years. I can only hope that his recovery is whole and rewarding and that he handles simply being free.”

Notes for Editors:

Reprieve, a legal action charity, uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Reprieve investigates, litigates and educates, working on the frontline, to provide legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves. Reprieve promotes the rule of law around the world, securing each person’s right to a fair trial and saving lives. Clive Stafford Smith is the founder of Reprieve and has spent 25 years working on behalf of people facing the death penalty in the USA.

Reprieve’s current casework involves representing 33 prisoners in the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, working on behalf of prisoners facing the death penalty, and conducting ongoing investigations into the rendition and the secret detention of ‘ghost prisoners’ in the so-called ‘war on terror.’

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