This week has seen the announcement of a major new project aimed at exposing the extent of the US's "extraordinary rendition" kidnap and torture programme.
The Rendition Project, organised by legal action charity Reprieve and leading British academics, aims to shine a light into the dark recesses of the rendition programme and expose the complicity of Britain and other states in the CIA's secret prison network.
The use of extraordinary rendition first came to public attention following the inception of the so-called war on terror in 2001, with a number of high-profile legal cases being brought before the British courts over Britain's involvement in the kidnap and torture of its own citizens.
There is strong evidence to suggest that Britain was complicit in the rendition of Binyam Mohamed and other former Guantanamo detainees, passing information and questions to their torturers.
Mohamed, an Ethiopian national, came to Britain in 1994. He lived here for seven years and sought political asylum.
He was given leave to remain while his case was resolved.
While travelling in Pakistan, Mohamed was arrested on a visa violation and turned over to the US authorities.
He insisted on having a lawyer present but was reportedly told: "The rules have changed. You don't get a lawyer."
British agents confirmed his identity to US authorities and he was warned that he would be taken to a Middle Eastern country for harsh treatment.
On July 21 2002 Mohamed was "rendered" to Morocco on a CIA plane.
He was held there for 18 months in dreadful conditions and suffered appalling torture.
He was also asked questions about his life in London, which he claims could only have come from British intelligence.
In January 2004 he was transferred to the "Dark Prison" near Kabul, Afghanistan - a secret prison run by the CIA where he was again tortured.
From there he was taken to the US military prison at Bagram airbase, and finally, in September 2004, to Guantanamo Bay.
He was finally released in February 2009.
The British government eventually settled a civil case brought by Mohamed and others over its alleged complicity in their abuse to prevent further embarrassing details of its involvement emerging.
In addition Britain has been forced to admit that its Indian Ocean territory, Diego Garcia, has been used as a stopover for rendition flights - despite years of previous denials.
Evidence continues to emerge, most recently relating to MI6's apparent role in the handing over of two opponents of the Gadaffi regime to the authorities in Tripoli in 2004.
The term rendition specifically refers to the legal transfer of persons from one jurisdiction to another according to the law.
Extraordinary rendition is the extrajudicial transfer of an individual, without charge or trial, to another jurisdiction.
The destination is often one where torture and ill-treatment are commonplace in an attempt to bypass human rights and extradition laws both domestically and internationally.
Extraordinary rendition is by any standard inherently illegal, and the farming out of abuse is no defence against torture charges under the UN Convention Against Torture.
Although only really coming to prominence in the last decade under Bush, the rendition policy has its origins in the early 1990s and the Clinton administration, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
After September 11 2001 the programme was drastically expanded and the Obama administration has refused to ban it, meaning it continues to this day.
Under the programme alleged terror suspects have been renditioned to detention facilities in Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Diego Garcia, Bagram in Afghanistan and Guantanamo, as well as a number of highly secretive "black sites" in eastern Europe.
The US openly admits the use of rendition but has claimed that it sought and received assurances that torture would not be used during interrogations carried out by foreign states.
Britain continues to deny any involvement in extraordinary rendition. But there are numerous allegations that MI5 and MI6 as well as CIA officers were in attendance during torture sessions.
Former CIA agent Robert Baer is quoted as stating: "If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear - never seen again - you send them to Egypt."
For this reason the programme has been condemned as "torture by proxy" and countries involved have been accused of "passing notes under the torture chamber door."
Estimates vary as to the number of victims of rendition, with some sources putting the figure as high as 3,000 since 2001.
A 2006 report by the Council of Europe said it had evidence that up to 100 people had been kidnapped by the CIA from EU territory with the knowledge and assistance of member states.
This week Reprieve estimated that it had information on over 6,500 flights by 140 aircraft connected to the CIA rendition programme and on 45 countries, including Britain, which were involved.
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