Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Anticipating the debate

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Abubakar Shekau says he is still leading Boko Haram

Read more

THE DEBATE

Peace at last? Colombia, FARC rebels sign historic peace accord (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Peace at last? Colombia, FARC rebels sign historic peace accord (part 2)

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Mykki Blanco, Van Morrison & The Weeknd’s duo with Daft Punk

Read more

FOCUS

FRANCE 24 exclusive: The last stand for Libya’s Oil Crescent

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Greece’s minister of tourism: ‘Tourism is a government priority’

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Terrorism, strike actions and migrant crisis: Is the EU becoming less attractive to tourists?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Moody's cuts Turkey's credit rating to junk

Read more

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. And you can watch it online as early as Friday.

REPORTERS

REPORTERS

Latest update : 2014-07-15

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

In the wake of the 9/11 terror attack, questions have been asked about the tactics used in former US president George W. Bush's "War on Terror". Extraordinary rendition saw many suspects flown to other countries where beatings and torture were used to extract information and confessions. Our report features a man whose life has been shattered by this process. He was arrested, tortured, imprisoned for almost a decade... for something he did not do. He reveals his story to France 24.

He may be walking free in Italy, but three years after his release from prison, Abou Elkassim Britel is still haunted by his harrowing ordeal. An Italian of Moroccan descent, Britel was caught up in the "war on terror" – by mistake.

He was arrested in Pakistan in 2002, tortured and flown to Morocco on an infamous secret CIA flight. He then spent nine years behind bars for allegedly belonging to a jihadist organization – without a shred of evidence.

But he never told his story. The memories of prison and torture remain painful. He may be back home in Italy, where he reunited with his wife, but he still suffers, vacillating between moments of anger, misery and despair.

He has no job, and little hope of finding one. He is so depressed he can’t even find the will to finish his project of translating religious texts into Italian, let alone muster the strength and means to lodge a complaint against the Italian state for what happened to him.

It took months to persuade Abou Elkassim Britel to talk to France 24. His wife repeatedly told us he wasn’t ready.

Then one day she put us in touch with him, first by email, then by Skype. Abou Elkassim Britel decided to tell us about his past, his aspirations, his life as a Muslim. It was difficult, but it was also a first step towards putting his life back together.

By Marc PERELMAN , Karim HAKIKI

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2016-09-23 Burma

Video: In Burma, ex-political prisoners struggle to return to normal life

During a half-century of dictatorship, nearly 10,000 Burmese citizens were imprisoned for their political views. Almost all of these political prisoners suffered physical and...

Read more

2016-09-15 football

Video: African football players dream of kickstarting career in Asia

Southeast Asia is awash with football fever. New leagues and new teams are springing up everywhere - even in countries where the sport was until recently a minority pastime. To...

Read more

2016-09-08 Niger

Video: Niger’s Agadez, gateway to exile

Agadez, the largest city in central Niger, has become one of the main transit points for illegal migrants from West Africa who dream of Europe. We bring you an exceptional...

Read more

2016-09-02 India

Video: In Indian Ocean, Jarawa tribe risks dying out

For their own protection, you are not allowed to meet them. For tens of thousands of years, the Jarawa have been self-sufficient hunter-gatherers, living in harmony with nature...

Read more

2012-06-14 Colombia

From the archives: Caught in the crossfire in Colombia

On April 28 a team of Colombian commandos set out to destroy a secret drugs lab in the jungle. FRANCE 24 reporter Romeo Langlois joined them to record the mission. The patrol was...

Read more