Reprieve is an international group of lawyers and investigators, supported by a global community with a shared belief in human rights and justice. Together, we fight for the victims of extreme human rights abuses with legal action and public education.

Reprieve US (4 staff) works in partnership with 25 lawyers and investigators at Reprieve UK, a London-based human rights organization established in 1999; with its Anglo-American founder Clive Stafford Smith OBE, and with its fellows in Pakistan, Yemen and around the world.


What we do:


Abuses in Counter-Terrorism

Reprieve US investigates extra-judicial killing and detention around the world and reunites ‘disappeared’ prisoners with their legal rights. Our Drones Project pursues greater transparency, due process and regulation in the use of drones to kill outside of war zones. Among our clients are the al-Saadi family, anti-Gaddafi dissidents who were rendered back to Gaddafi in a joint CIA-MI6 operation when the eldest child was just 12 years old, and Faisal Bin Ali Jaber, an engineer from Yemen who is seeking justice for his brother-in-law and nephew who were killed in a US drone strike.


Death Rows Worldwide

Reprieve US is assisting over 70 indigent prisoners facing the death penalty in the USA and around the world. We prioritize cases where an international influence can make all the difference. Our Stop Lethal Injections Project works with ethical pharmaceutical corporations to ensure that medicines created to cure are not used to kill. We have saved over 300 people from wrongful execution.


Guantánamo Bay

Reprieve US currently represents 7 prisoners in Guantánamo Bay and assists many more. We have freed over 70 men from wrongful detention at Guantánamo, including juveniles like Mohammed el Gharani. Our Force-feeding Litigation, documented in a litigation timeline here, challenges the military’s harsh tube-feeding techniques. Among our clients is Abu Wa’el Dhiab – released in 2014 – whose force-feeding tapes are at the center of a dispute with the Obama Administration, in which Reprieve and 16 major media outlets are calling for the footage of Mr. Dhiab to be released to the public. We also run a unique prisoner resettlement program, Life After Guantánamo, which helps ex-prisoners from Guantánamo to reunite with their families, access medical care and rebuild their lives peacefully and securely.


Shelby Sullivan-Bennis, Attorney (Abuses in Counter Terrorism)

Shelby is a Staff Attorney working on abuses in counter-terrorism at Reprieve U.S. She represents several prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and victims of America’s targeted killing program. Shelby Sullivan-BennisShelby has previously worked on the legal team for Nazih al Raghie (“Anas al-Liby”), a Libyan national extra-judicially rendered to the United States to stand trial for the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings. She has also worked for the Legal Aid Society, the International Rescue Committee, and Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility (CLEAR), a project of the CUNY School of Law. She holds a B.A. from the University of Rhode Island and a J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law. She is admitted in New York and to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Mark Maher, Fellow (Death Penalty)

Mark works on death penalty issues in the United States and around the world, including on Reprieve’s international Stop Lethal Injection Project. Mark MaherHe previously worked for the Indian Law Project of Nevada Legal Services. He also worked with the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility (CLEAR) project. He holds a B.S. in Psychology from Saint Joseph’s University and a J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law.

Natalie Kabasakalian, Operations

Natalie directs Reprieve US’s operations. Natalie has an extensive background in litigation and human rights advocacy. She received her BA from Brown University, her JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and her LLM International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights from the University of Geneva.

Katherine O'Shea, Communications

Kat O'SheaKatherine directs communications and advocacy, and leads the Reprieve US team. She was previously Director of Communications for Reprieve UK where she set up the press office from scratch; before that she was a journalist at The Daily Telegraph in London. She holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor of Law from BPP Law School in London.

Charles Dekan, Digital Campaigns Officer

Charles runs digital campaigns and supporter actions for Reprieve US.


Eric Lewis (President)

Eric Lewis is a leading international attorney and a partner at Lewis Baach PLLC, based in Washington D.C. Mr. Lewis practices in the areas of international insolvency, cross border disputes and serious fraud cases. An expert in offshore asset tracing and trusts, he serves as a Director of the Jersey International Business School in the Channel Islands. Mr. Lewis also represents Guantanamo and Afghan detainees in litigation, seeking redress and accountability for torture and religious abuse while in US custody. He was selected by Washington DC Super Lawyers (2007-2013) and by Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition (2009) as one of “The Top Attorneys” in Business Litigation in the Washington, D.C., area. He is also featured in Who’s Who as an expert in international insolvency.

Elliott Milstein, Board (Secretary/Treasurer)

Elliott Milstein is Professor of Law at American University’s Washington College of Law, where he founded the clinical law program. Professor Milstein was president of the Association of American Law Schools in 2000, the first clinical teacher elected to that position. He was Dean of the Washington College of Law from 1988 to 1995 and served one year as interim president of American University starting in 1993. A clinical teacher since 1969, Professor Milstein has been a leader in the development of the concepts and methods that are the basis for in-house clinical education and has trained or mentored a substantial number of clinical teachers. He currently teaches in the Civil Advocacy Clinic.

Eliot Spitzer

Eliot Spitzer is a lawyer, political commentator and politician who served as the 54th Governor of New York. He previously served as New York State Attorney General, prosecuting cases relating to corporate white collar crime, securities fraud, internet fraud and environmental protection. As NY Governor, Mr. Spitzer proposed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in New York and issued an executive order allowing undocumented immigrants to be issued driver’s licenses. Since leaving office, he has been a political commentator in print and on television, hosting political discussion programs for CNN and Current TV.

Esther Fein, Board (Member)

Esther Fein is a New York Times reporter and a graduate with honors from Barnard College. She lends her considerable development and fundraising expertise, and her creativity, to Reprieve US – and hosted its launch party in October 2014. Ms Fein is also a board member of the non-profit organization, New York Collaborates for Autism.