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More than 130 individuals are known to have been held and tortured as part of the CIA's rendition, detention, and interrogation (RDI) programme. These prisoners were held in one or more of the CIA's own secret prisons, which operated across the globe between 2001-2009, or else were rendered by the CIA to secret detention at US military bases, or to foreign governments known to routinely use torture. As part of our work to map the use of rendition, secret detention and torture in the "war on terror", we have pieced together the stories of these individuals. Accounts are drawn from a range of sources: CIA records cited in the executive summary of the US Senate Intelligence Committee (SSCI) report on the CIA programme; the first-hand testimonies provided by some prisoners; off-the-record briefings by intelligence officials; flight data mapping the movements of CIA aircraft around the world; and investigations by organisations such as the UN, Council of Europe, ICRC, and NGOs.

The prisoner profiles which can be accessed through these pages are the most comprehensive account to date of the fate and whereabouts of each of those rendered, detained and tortured by the CIA, either in one of its "black sites" or through cooperation with its counterterrorism allies. The profiles compiled thus far include:

  • 119 individuals known to have been held as CIA prisoners in one of the black sites; and
  • 12 other prisoners known to have been rendered by the CIA to US military bases or foreign governments for secret detention and torture

These 131 profiles include the following groupings, which can be explored in these pages:

  • 17 prisoners designated by the CIA as "High-Value Detainees" (HVDs)
  • 39 prisoners who were transferred out of the CIA programme to US military control at Guantánamo Bay (29 of whom are still held on the island, outside of the law)
  • 39 prisoners who have been documented as being subjected to the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques", such as extensive sleep deprivation, stress positions and waterboarding
  • 26 prisoners who, by the CIA's own standards, were "wrongfully detained" in the programe
  • 38 prisoners for whom there is evidence of complicity by one or more European state, whether that is the hosting of a black site, involvement in interrogations, the passing of intelligence to and from the CIA, or the use of airports for refuelling during rendition operations.

As part of our project with The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, we are continuing to conduct investigative research into the fate of CIA prisoners, and will be updating these profiles as new information comes to light.


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