Monday, July 14, 2014

CCSDG Supports Call for Apology to Survivor of U.S. Extraordinary Rendition (i.e. Kidnapping and Torture)

Survivor of U.S. kidnapping and torture:
Abou ElKassim Britel

The Chicago Coalition to Shut Down Guantanamo supports the call by North Carolina Stop Torture Now and others for an apology to survivors of U.S. "extraordinary rendition" (i.e. kidnapping and torture). We will be focusing on this call at our protest during the 2014 Chicago Air and Water Show.

This is especially relevant to the work of CCSDG and the work it is doing at the 2014 Chicago Air and Water Show, August 16-17, 2014, because:

(a) The practice of "extraordinary rendition" is intimately connected to the illegal and illegitimate practices of the U.S. government -- kidnapping, torture, and imprisonment "outside the law" -- epitomized by the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center. (See "extraordinary rendition" article on Wikipedia.)

(b) The flight logistics and coordination firm employed by the U.S. government in its kidnapping flights was Jeppesen DataPlan, a subsidiary of Boeing. Boeing is a prime sponsor of the 2014 Chicago Air and Water Show. (See "Jeppesen" article on Wikipedia.)

Below is further detail about U.S. kidnapping flights provided by North Carolina Stop Torture Now . . . .

Acknowledge and apologize 
for the wrongful imprisonment and torture of 
Abou ElKassim Britel

Since September 11, 2001, over 135 people have been seized, abducted and tortured as part of the U.S. extraordinary rendition program (Globalizing Torture, OSJI). Abou ElKassim Britel, an Italian citizen of Moroccan descent, is one of them.

"The wrong has been done, sadly. What I can ask now is some form of reparation, so that I can have a fresh start and try to forget, even if it won’t be easy ... I want an apology; it is only fair to say that someone who has done something wrong must apologize." – Abou ElKassim Britel

The campaign for apologies to rendition survivor Abou elKassim Britel is gaining steam! We have a growing number of signatures on an e-petition to the governments of the U.S. and the three other countries that helped with his capture, kidnapping, and torture. Would you sign too?

So far, there are signers in California, Massachusetts, New York, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Ohio, Georgia, Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, North Carolina, and the greater DC area. There are some from Italy, Morocco, the UK, and other countries.

Here's why we're doing this....

Pending declassification of the Senate torture report, we're trying to help keep the need for torture accountability alive for Americans. Connecting folks to the costs of torture is important. Mr. Britel's appalling experience is a good example of a broader problem. We've been in touch with Mr. Britel and his wife Khadija Anna for several years, and the family continues to suffer seriously in the aftermath of their terrible ordeal.

We're building on previous efforts in the Britel case. The ACLU sued Jeppesen DataPlan on behalf of Britel and four others (and the U.S. Justice Department intervened and shut the suit down). A team at the Constitution Project interviewed Kassim and Anna for the 2013 report of the Task Force on Detainee Treatment.

Recently, a team at the University of North Carolina School of Law submitted a brief and petition to special rapporteurs at the United Nations, requesting UN action vis-a-vis the four responsible governments in the Britel case. To complement the appeal to the UN, we're circulating this petition calling for apologies from the governments of the U.S., Pakistan, Italy, and Morocco.

We would be grateful for your help. Besides giving some heart to Kassim and Anna, we hope this campaign helps point people, especially in the U.S., toward the need for meaningful amends to all survivors of U.S.-directed kidnapping and torture. The world should know there are Americans who want our government to take responsibility for disappearance and torture carried out in our names.

Can you please promote signing the e-petition via Twitter, blogging, an email listserve, etc? Or you can print this version, circulate it among friends and faith / activist communities, and return it to:

Britel Apology
NC Stop Torture Now
P.O. Box 12707
Raleigh, NC 27605

Or, scan and e-mail to: contact [at]

Thank you very much!!

Related posts

For the third year in a row, supporters of the Chicago Coalition to Shut Down GuantanamoNo Drones Illinois, and others will do public outreach at the 2014 Chicago Air and Water Show, August 16-17, 2014.

(See August 16-17: Protest U.S. Kidnapping, Torture, and Drone Assassinations at the 2014 Chicago Air and Water Show Protest .)