ABOUT THE PROJECT
Welcome to Unredacted, the UK’s first permanent, public collection of national security documents.
Our team is based at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, and is working with academics, human rights investigators, NGOs, lawyers, activists and journalists to bring together and publish thousands of primary documents relating to UK national security practices.
Our extensive document collections – going live in early 2024 – will provide a permanent home for this material, all fully searchable and available for download. Our briefings will discuss key documents from our collections, explaining how they shed light on contemporary national security practices, many of which are hidden under multiple layers of state secrecy and denial, and many of which have resulted in sustained, systematic human rights abuses.
This is particularly the case in the context of counterterrorism and the so-called “War on Terror”, and the first phase of our project will examine the UK’s involvement in a number of different global programmes, including the CIA’s torture and secret detention programme, targeted killings outside of war (assassinations), and extrajudicial killings and prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Our full document archive stretches significantly beyond this focus, however, and will bring together material relating to security assistance and training, arms exports, surveillance technologies and interception programmes, domestic counterterrorism, citizenship stripping, and state collusion with non-state violent actors.
Overall, our aim is to provide a step-change in the transparency and public understanding of UK national security, to provide users with full access to material in the public domain, and to become a permanent home for research – and for the underlying documents – which help to track the contours and impacts of contemporary UK state violence.
ABOUT THE TEAM
Sam Raphael is a Professor in International Relations and Human Rights at the University of Westminster. He has over 15 years of experience in running complex investigations into covert counterterrorism programmes, including as co-Director of The Rendition Project – a global investigation into the use of torture and disappearance by the UK and US in the “War on Terror”.
Jac St John is a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster. He previously worked as a Research Associate with The Rendition Project and his doctoral research focused on the development of public order policing within the Metropolitan Police from the 1960s to the 1980s.
Ibtehal Hussain is a project coordinator whose prior research has been concerned with the arms trade and militarism (particularly in UK Higher Education). She has also investigated data processes within bordering practices and contributed to work on intelligence scandals and the (non-)oversight of intelligence actors. Her organising and research has revolved around a passion in the histories and trajectories of transnational resistance and solidarity.
Lydia Day is a project coordinator who has previously worked for several NGOs, leading research and advocacy work across human rights, defence and security, and civilian harm issues. Her work has particularly focused on strengthening transparency, accountability and oversight mechanisms for abuses arising from the UK’s defence and security practices.
Namir Shabibi is a visiting lecturer and doctoral candidate at the University of Westminster, exploring the role of covert paramilitary operations in the “War on Terror”. He is also a journalist and research consultant, working previously for the International Committee of the Red Cross at Guantánamo Bay and in Darfur.