Eighteen Years in Hell

In 1971, Aziz BineBine – a junior officer in the Moroccan army – was ordered to take part in a military exercise. Unbeknown to him, the attack on the King’s summer palace near Casablanca was in fact a coup attempt.

The coup failed – and Aziz, who had never fired a shot, was sentenced to 10 years in jail. Soon he found himself transferred to the dungeon of a secret prison in the Atlas Mountains: Tazmamart.

It was what Aziz describes as hell: his cell, furnished only with a concrete bench, was dark and dank, searing in summer and freezing in winter. Many of his follow prisoners perished. Aziz was to remain at Tazmamart for 18 years.

But he found astonishing inner resources to survive this hell. In this programme, he tells John McCarthy (who himself spent years in captivity as a hostage in Lebanon) about his total surrender to God and how his Islamic faith enabled him to live one day at a time. Both men were eventually released in 1991.

Listen here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3ct2bh0


*Generic prison image

Another fascinating portrait. The birds make it. How extraordinary.

Simon Pitts, Commissioning Editor, BBC World Service
13th March 2021
Presenter: John McCarthy
Producer: Kristine Pommert