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The Rendition Process


Detainees in the ‘war on terror’ have been rendered between many states around the world. However, accounts of the rendition process itself, as related by the detainees, are often remarkably consistent. The Marty investigation found there to be an ‘established modus operandi of rendition, put into practice by an elite, highly-trained and highly-disciplined group of CIA agents’.

Detainee accounts consistently mention that those conducting the transfer were dressed completely in black, with full face masks and black gloves. Most communication was conducted via hand signals.

Prior to the transfer, detainees would be subjected to a ‘preparation phase’, or ‘security check’. This was described to the Marty investigation by a CIA officer as a ‘twenty minute takeout’, designed to reduce the detainee to ‘a state of almost total immobility and sensory deprivation’. Detainees would be stripped, often by having their clothes cut from their body. They would be gripped from all sides throughout the process, and often punched, kicked or shoved. When naked, they were photographed, and be subjected to a full cavity examination. Suppositories were often administered anally, before being dressed in a diaper and a tracksuit or boiler-suit (jump-suit). Detainees were then blindfolded, sometimes after having cotton wool taped to their eyes. Headphones or ear defenders were placed on their ears, sometimes with loud music played through them. Loose hoods were then placed over the head, which reached down over the shoulders. Hands and feet were shackled, and may then have been connected to other detainees.

Most transfers were on board one of a fleet of civilian aircraft which were either owned by the CIA (via nominally independent shell companies), or were contracted out to the CIA by private companies. Detainees were generally chained to a stretcher, a mattress, or the floor of these aircraft, either spread-eagled or with their hands behind their backs. No toilet breaks were provided, with detainees required to defecate or urinate into their diapers.

Click here to read Marwan Jabour’s account of his transfer from Pakistan to a secret CIA site and (more than two years later) from the CIA site to Jordan.

Click here to read Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah’s account of his transfer from Jordan to a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan in October 2003, and his transfer from this site to another secret prison in April 2004.

Click here to read Khaled al-Maqtari’s account of his transfer from secret detention in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq to a CIA prison in Afghanistan in January 2004.

Click here to read a summary of accounts collated by the Marty investigation.


Rendition Research Team - © University of Kent
University of Westminster University of Kent E.S.R.C