The French in Algeria

The French in Algeria pioneered many of the torture techniques that were subsequently used in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. French ‘counterinsurgency’ specialists, who had already fought the Vietnamese, trained American soldiers and interrogators throughout the 1960s.

Al Jazeera examines the bitterness still provoked by France’s colonial war in Algeria and how it fuels resentment between France and its Muslim community.

One thought on “The French in Algeria”

  1. Thanks for posting this here.
    The first account published in France of torture performed by French “Paras” (Paratroopers) was written by Henri Alleg, a French journalist (of the Alger Républicain), while in prison in 1958. He was a sympathizer of the Algerian independence movement, and in the short book written while in prison, he relates how he and others were tortured, and even partially names names of those specific officers doing it. It’s called “La Question” (The Question).

    Copies of it were seized and the book was banned by French authorities precisely because torture (waterboarding, electrical shocks, and others) was sanctioned at the highest levels of the government. Villages were bombed with napalm, political activists were imprisoned and tortured, etc.

    Alleg writes :
    “…above all, what the authorities were attempting to hide were the methods employed to bring an entire people to its knees…”

    Worth reading.

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