Reprieve needs your help in securing an urgent Parliamentary Inquiry into Home Office “aid for executions”.
In recent years the UK Home Office has been Europe’s largest funder of brutal overseas raids which see drug mules sent to death row.
Reprieve’s investigation has revealed that the Home Office has given at least £20million worth of support to aggressive law enforcement operations in countries which execute drug offenders, such as Iran and Pakistan.
Home Office funding frequently comes with targets which end up encouraging death sentences, and Reprieve has identified a number of specific cases where UK support has enabled executions.
Right now there are at least 5 British drug offenders on Pakistan’s death row, who were almost certainly caught with Home Office support. Despite its funding for the force which arrested these Britons, the UK has not been able to convince the Pakistani authorities to reveal their names, so they have been abandoned on death row without any support from their government.
The Home Office is charged with developing and implementing the UK’s international drug policy, and should act to reflect Britain’s opposition to the death penalty. However, the Home Office has refused to permit parliamentary or public scrutiny of its overseas counter-narcotics initiatives, and will not disclose any details regarding the cost, focus or effectiveness of these programmes.
Back in 2012 Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee recommended that the UK government ‘ensure that no British or European funding is used to support practices that could lead to capital punishment, torture, or other violations’. This recommendation has clearly been ignored.
Reprieve is now calling for an urgent inquiry by the Home Affairs Committee into the Home Office’s “aid for executions”. As The Guardian reported this weekend, we have joined individuals like Richard Branson and charities like Human Rights Watch in signing an open letter which has put this request in writing. Now we are asking all our supporters to email Committee Chairman Keith Vaz and support our call for an inquiry.
To learn more about the issue, please see our new interactive European Aid For Executions map. The map displays the counter-narcotics aid given to Pakistan and Iran by individual EU countries, and also details the number of executions this aid has enabled.
Join Reprieve in our fight against the death penalty.