Samira Bellil

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Samira Bellil (November 24, 1972 - September 7, 2004) was a French feminist activist and a campaigner for the rights of girls and women.

Bellil became famous in France with the publication of her autobiographical book Dans l'enfer des tournantes ('In the hell of the "tournantes" (gang-rapes)) in 2002. The book discusses the violence she and other young women endured in the predominantly Muslim immigrant outskirts of Paris, where she was repeatedly gang-raped as a teenager by gangs led by people she knew, and then abandoned by her family and friends. Her book is a portrayal of the predicament of young girls in the poor, outlying suburbs (banlieue) of French cities.

The book is available in American-English (translated by Lucy R. McNair) as "To Hell and back" with the subtitle "The Life of Samira Bellil".


Bellil was born to Algerian parents in Algiers, but her family migrated to France and settled in the Parisian suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis. Her father was jailed almost immediately and she was fostered by a family in Belgium for five years, before being called back to her parents .

As a teenager Bellil rebelled against the traditional constraints of her community and wanted to live freely as a young French woman.

Samira was first gang-raped when she was 14, by a gang led by someone she knew<!-- meaning of the following is unclear: who suggested what? who suggested that they targeted her for her westernised demeanor-->. They beat her...
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