Canterbury lecturer leads War on Terror research project
ACADEMIC Dr Ruth Blakely is leading a major new project on "black site" prisons, torture and secret detention she claims has grown up during the War on Terror.
The senior lecturer in international relations at Canterbury's University of Kent is heading the online project rendition – the secret snatching of people and their removal to off-radar "black site" prisons.
Dr Blakely, 34, who has been with the university for five years, said: "I realised that although there was a lot of information coming from investigative journalists and civil liberties groups there was little academic analysis of what was happening.
"It seemed odd people weren't paying attention to such an important area of international relations."
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She is investigating the British government's role in sending Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his wife Fatima to Colonel Gaddafi in 2004.
They were snatched from Bangkok and flown on a secret flight to Libya, apparently stopping at the British island of Diego Garcia.
Belhaj claims he was interrogated by British and US intelligence while in jail in Libya. He is suing former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.
Dr Blakely said: "It is very hard to tell if this type of practice is ongoing but we think it is in the name of the War on Terror."