'Restore prison of Devil's Island'

'Restore prison of Devil's Island'

by Jan Ligthart

PARIS, 1 December 2014 - You may think you have seen and heard it all, but you are wrong. A French politician has seriously suggested that the most horrible prison island known to mankind be reopened. Mr. Dupont-Aignan, founder of the right wing DLF Party, thinks Devil's Island in French Guinea, would suit very well as a place to lock up French jihadists fighting for Islamic State (IS).

Recently some French nationals were identified as members of the group of terrorists that beheaded 18 captured Syrian soldiers as well as a US aid worker.

Mr Dupont-Aignag believes Devils Island is just the right place to incarcerate such individuals. But he was also quick to add that he does not want the prison to have as cruel a regime as it once had.

As he should. Devil's Island was shut down in the 1950's. But before that at least 80,000 people were imprisoned on Devil's Island and only 2,000 of them survived the ordeal.

The island was made famous by the book and subsequent movie Papillon, starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. But it is even better known for being the evil place where the French government locked up Alfred Dreyffus. The Dreyffus affair was one of the biggest scandals in modern French history.