Learn English – Meaning of “rendition” in the phrase “rendition camp”


In the movie series XIII the main character was imprisoned in something they called "a rendition camp in Romania". In the movie it looked just like a prison. He was put there on the order of NSA or CIA or some agency without a proper sentence, they kind of "deposited" him there because they had considered him dangerous.

What is the exact meaning of the word rendition in the phrase rendition camp? I cannot find the definition of the phrase and none of the definitions of the rendition itself does not make sense (a performance or interpretation, a translation of a piece of writing, visual representation or reproduction).

Best Answer

The meaning probably refers to its original one of surrender, yield:

Rendition: (Etymonline)

  • c. 1600, "surrender of a place or possession," from obsolete French rendition "a rendering," noun of action from Old French rendre "to deliver, to yield" (see render (v.)). Meaning "translation" first recorded 1650s; that of "an acting, a performing" first recorded 1858, American English.

Rendition: (Wikipedia)

  • In law, rendition is a "surrender" or "handing over" of persons or property, particularly from one jurisdiction to another. For criminal suspects, extradition is the most common type of rendition. Rendition can also be seen as the act of handing over, after the request for extradition has taken place.

  • Rendition can also mean the act of rendering, i.e. delivering, a judicial decision, or of explaining a series of events, as a defendant or witness. It can also mean the execution of a judicial order by the directed parties. But extraordinary rendition is distinct from both deportation and extradition, being inherently illegal.

From: Of camps, gulags and extraordinary renditions: Infrastructural violence in Romania

  • From fascist prisons to Communist-era gulags, Romania does not simply have a history of torture, but also an existing infrastructure conducive to its practice. Romania, human rights organizations have made clear, hosted a number of ‘secret detention centers’ used by the US government in its program of ‘extraordinary rendition’ whereby intelligence agents illegally rendered, detained and tortured suspected terrorists.

  • Both Romania’s gulags and its secret detention centers call to mind Giorgio Agamben’s notion of ‘the camp’ – an extra-juridical space where human life is reduced to its bare form – which is why this article pivots on a historical comparison between the two.


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