Camp Boiro
Conakry, Guinea
November 20, 1999

To this day, just the name of this military base is enough to frighten any Guinean old enough to remember Sékou Touré's regime. Many dissidents (real or imagined) were imprisoned here; many were tortured and killed.

The prison, which was emptied and abandoned in 1984 after Sékou Touré's death, is located in a corner of an army base, about a five-minute walk from our house.

Former prisoners were on hand to describe their experiences. Mr. Diallo was a high-school administrator when he was arrested as part of the "Teacher's Plot" purge of 1961. He was in prison for six years without ever having been tried or sentenced.



Prisoners wrote on the walls with their own blood
or with scraps of charcoal.

"Man is an apprentice, and suffering is his master. One does not know oneself until one has suffered."

"I believe: To leave one's country for family reasons is not a sign of a lack of patriotism. But to return voluntarily is an act of patriotism and love for the regime in place."

"To my cell-brothers: Inasmuch as nothing is eternal, let us take our courage in hand, and with time this difficult period of our history will pass."



For more information visit the Camp Boiro Memorial.