A new project which brings together all the available data on hundreds of victims of rendition, torture and secret detention has launched online.
The Rendition Project, undertaken by academics at the University of Kent and Kingston University assisted by the legal charity Reprieve, collates and analyses information on thousands of CIA flights servicing the secret prison network during the so-called 'War on Terror'.
The practice of rendition – in which people suspected by the CIA were kidnapped and flown to ‘black sites’ where they were subjected to torture – became widely known as one of the worst excesses of the Bush era, but many details of the programme are only just starting to be brought to light.
The project brings together information on:
* hundreds of victims of rendition, secret detention and torture since 2001;
* over 6500 flights by 140 aircraft connected to the CIA renditions programme;
* and the 45 countries around the world which were involved
The Rendition Project – led by Dr Sam Raphael and Dr Ruth Blakeley – is the largest academic project of its kind and, by bringing together all the available data for the first time, will allow a new level of understanding of the highly secretive CIA programme.
Over the summer of 2012, the collated data on victims, prisons, flights and companies will be published on the website, along with analysis of key findings.
Dr Sam Raphael of Kingston University said: “The Rendition Project is uncovering the sheer extent of the global network of secret prisons and torture which grew up after September 2001, and the direct and indirect involvement in this by many countries across the world. By bringing all the data together into one place, we are better able to understand how this system emerged after 9/11, and how it has evolved since. We hope this will be of benefit to all those wanting to understand how the US and its allies subverted fundamental human rights and international law in their 'war on terror', and to people seeking the accountability of those involved.”
Reprieve’s Executive Director, Clare Algar said: “The Rendition Project will be an important tool in bringing the tangled web of the CIA’s illegal rendition programme to light. It is essential that we get to the bottom of what was one of the worst human rights abuses of the ‘War on Terror’ – including the involvement of the UK, a number of other European states, and major corporations. By bringing together and analysing the swathes of information that have emerged, this project will help ensure that the CIA’s global network of torture flights cannot simply be swept under the carpet.”