Secret Prisons

What’s going on?

After 9/11, the CIA built and maintained a network of secret prisons across the globe for the detention of terrorism suspects who were often transported via ‘extraordinary rendition’. Some facilities remain operational to this day. Since these ‘black sites’ operated outside of US borders and outside of US jurisdiction, evidence has shown that ‘rendered’ prisoners were thrust into a legal black hole and subjected to brutal torture and other human rights abuses.



CIA prison facilities have been uncovered in Afghanistan, Diego Garcia (British Indian Ocean Territory), Djibouti, Egypt and Syria, among others. In 2005, it emerged that the CIA was detaining prisoners in Europe, transporting them covertly through European airspace and airports.

Known “black sites”, highlighted in the Senate Intelligence Committee torture report in 2014, include Detention Site Cobalt near Kabul in Afghanistan, the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Detention Site Green in Thailand, and Bright Light in Romania.


What we do:

  • Reprieve investigates extra-judicial detention and military detention in secret prisons around the world, working to reunite ‘disappeared’ prisoners with their human rights under US and international law.
  • We are investigating the role of corporations in the illegal rendition, incarceration and torture of prisoners in the ‘war on terror’, as well as the complicity of European states, including Romania, Poland and Lithuania.




Key Issues:



Our current clients: 


Our past clients:

Latest secret prisons news:

Read more news on secret prisons here.