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New database tracks 11,000 global rendition flights

Rendition Project - mapA new University-hosted database has tracked over 11,000 flights by more than 120 aircraft linked by past investigations to renditions.

It also contains details of over 50 private companies contracted for or by the CIA in relation to rendition flights.

The database is the latest addition to the Rendition Project, an online project designed to analyse the global system of rendition, secret detention and torture initiated by the US. The new database will enable users to search for, and visualise, underlying data contained within the Rendition Project via an interactive map showing rendition flights. Flight data underpinning the database is collated from over 40 separate sources.

Launched in May 2012, the Rendition Project is part of wider research to collate and analyse huge amounts of data on the global rendition system. It is led by Dr Ruth Blakeley, Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Kent's School of Politics and International Relations, and Dr Sam Raphael, Lecturer in Politics at Kingston University. They work closely with Reprieve, a UK-based legal action charity which has led the way in investigating secret prisons and representing victims of rendition and torture.

Dr Blakeley said: ‘The global rendition system was deliberately established to facilitate the arbitrary detention and torture of terror suspects, and has involved dozens of countries worldwide. For the first time, we can shed light on the workings of the global rendition system as a whole.

‘We have produced the first integrated set of data and analysis that enables users to seamlessly navigate their way through the US-led global web of secret prisons and illicit prisoner transfers by dozens of privately owned aircraft, contracted by the CIA through a network of private subcontractors.

'This includes being able to show how the US and its allies went to extraordinary lengths to try and conceal the global rendition system as knowledge of it began to emerge'.

Dr Blakeley concluded: 'By bringing together a vast collection of documents and data, the Rendition Project has just published the most detailed picture to date of the scale, operation and evolution of the global system of rendition and secret detention in the "war on terror".'

The Rendition Flights Database, produced in collaboration with The Information Lab, a company specialising in this type of web tool, can be viewed here:

The Rendition project is funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).


Story published at 2:12pm 22 May 2013

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Last Updated: 09/05/2013