The Rendition Project


The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, et al. – TRANSCEND Media Service

April 2015 – An unprecedented picture of the 119 individuals secretly detained and tortured by the CIA as part of the US’s war on terror has been published following new research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and The Rendition Project.

The analysis, which is summarised in our first quarterly report, reveals 101 of the detainees were held by the CIA for more than a month, and 47 of these for more than a year. All detainees were held without access to lawyers, their families or the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The Bureau and The Rendition Project launched a joint investigation in January to examine the CIA’s actions and find out what happened to the people they held.

The Rendition Project is a collaborative research initiative run by Dr Ruth Blakeley at the University of Kent and Dr Sam Raphael at Kingston University. Working closely with a number of other organisations, in particular the legal action charity Reprieve and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, this project aims to bring academic expertise to bear in order to research the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation (RDI) programme.

The Rendition Project is at the forefront of efforts to investigate and understand the use of rendition, secret detention and torture by the CIA and its allies in the “war on terror”. Through this website users can access:

The extensive analysis on this site is underpinned by an unrivalled body of primary material, such as prisoner testimonies, declassified documents, flight records, company invoices and court documents. Together, these help to build an unparalleled picture of the CIA’s torture programme, and are located in the same place for the first time.

The Guardian has described The Rendition Project as a ‘groundbreaking research project which sheds unprecedented light on one of the most controversial secret operations of recent years’. Our team’s work in the field has generated significant impact, supporting cases heard at the European Court of Human Rights and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, sparking a Scottish police investigation into rendition flights, assisting a range of legal teams representing former and current prisoners, and featuring in documentaries and numerous news reports.

More than anything, we are indebted to those organisations and individuals that led the way in uncovering the use of rendition, secret detention and torture in the “war on terror”, and to the former prisoners who have agreed to tell their stories.

Rendition full report:  Download pdf file

An infographic summarising the main findings:


The Rendition Project has been funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and is accredited under the Global Uncertainties programme.

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