The Other Faces of Aero Contractors:
Making Torture Personal to Public Officials in Johnston County North Carolina.

October 3, 2011

(For a streaming video version of this report, click here.)

Aero Contractors, a CIA front company which has carried out many torture flights,  is based at the Johnston County NC airport near Smithfield NC.

Aero Contractors Gate Spring 2007
Johnston County NC
North Carolina . . .

Johnston County Map                                 . . . and Johnston County.
NC Stop Torture Now (NCSTN) has been protesting Aero's presence since 2006. Quaker House has been part of this work since 2007. Since the beginning of 2009, these protests have been voiced at the monthly meetings of the Johnston County Commission, which has charge of the airport. We have called for an investigation of Aero's involvement in torture flights, which would violate both US and international laws.
At the Commission meeting of Oct. 3, 2011, our presentation made this issue personal. NCSTN has been in touch with a couple in Italy, Abou El-Kassim Britel, and his wife Khadija Anna L. Pighizzini. Britel was an Italian citizen of Moroccan descent. (More biographical details here.) In 2002 Kassim Britel was arrested in Pakistan, tortured there by Pakistani and American agents, then flown on an Aero Gulfstream plane from Pakistan to Morocco. There he was jailed and tortured for nearly a year, released, then jailed again and held for nine more years. Yet he was never charged with a crime in the "war on terror."Sign over the Commission Chamber
His readjustment efforts since his release have been difficult. One of the most difficult parts of it, according to his wife Anna, has been that his experience of imprisonment and torture without charge have not been acknowledged by any government involved.
NCSTN presented a summary of this experience to the Johnston County Commission, climaxing in the reading of a letter from Britel's wife addressed directly to the seven Commissioners.
Abou El-Kassim britel: before & After
Abou El-Kassim Britel, Before Torture, and After.
The County Commissioners in sessionThe Commissioners in session.                  

Christina Cowger Gave the Background of Abou El-Kassim Britel's case
Christina Cowger of NCSTN filled in the background of Abou El-Kassim Britel's case.

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