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Our year in human rights: successes and challenges

By December 5, 2017 No Comments

As this year draws to a close, it is important to look back on the successes we’ve had and the challenges ahead.

We are all part of a unique organization, where public pressure from people like you and legal work by our staff combine to achieve human rights victories. It is the petitions you sign, the letters you write, and the money you donate that save lives, free prisoners and protect human rights.

It has been a busy year for Reprieve U.S. Together we have secured releases from death row, exposed the innocent casualties of President Trump’s reckless drone strikes, helped to secure the release of three innocent men from Guantánamo Bay, and much more.

Now is the time to make sure that we can continue to save lives and deliver justice in 2018. From Giving Tuesday through December 31, a generous investor is matching every donation to Reprieve U.S. dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $50,000. So, if you’re considering a gift this year, every $1 you give is now worth $2—doubling your donation and doubling your impact:

Here are just a few examples of what your donations have helped Reprieve U.S. achieve this year:

  • We launched an urgent campaign to stop the execution of Ivan Teleguz in Virginia. After thousands of our supporters wrote to Governor McAuliffe to raise the problems in Ivan’s case, he was granted clemency.
  • My client, Salman Rabei’i, was finally released from Guantánamo Bay, after nearly 15 years of unlawful detention. This brings the total number of detainees we have helped to free to 78—more than any other organization in the world.
  • Our Stop Lethal Injection Project continues to ensure that medicines are not misused in lethal injection executions.  As a result, of the 31 U.S. states that maintain the death penalty, only eight have been able to carry out executions this year.
  • We were the first organization to reveal a massacre at the hands of U.S. forces in Yemen. Our on-the-ground investigations uncovered that 23 innocent people, including an 8-year-old girl and a new born baby, were killed in a needless operation authorized by President Trump.
  • After tireless work from our staff and supporters, Irish student, Ibrahim Halawa, who had been held in Egyptian prison for 4 years, was finally acquitted. Ibrahim faced a death sentence in Egypt for the ‘crime’ of attending a protest. He was tortured, denied medical treatment and subjected to a mass trial of nearly 500 people. Ibrahim has now returned home to his family in Ireland.

These victories show what we can achieve when we work together. But we must also remember that there are still challenges ahead. Across the world, basic rights are under threat and the most marginalized are counting on us to speak out.

Saudi Arabia continues to behead children and peaceful protesters, 41 men still remain illegally detained in Guantánamo Bay, and the President is threatening to spread his misguided drone war further across the globe.

These challenges and more await us in 2018. But we know that, with your help, we can make a difference even in the most difficult circumstances.

Thank you for being part of our work. Thank you for campaigning so hard for victims of human rights abuses, and for donating now to make sure Reprieve U.S. is ready to hit the ground running in 2018.

Reprieve US

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