Photographed in the national stadium where he was going when shot by the security forces on 28 September 2009.
‘I am a victim of the Guinean authorities. On the morning of 28 September the police shot me in the stomach. The bullet is still there. Sometimes I can feel it burning. I don’t like being in hot places any more. I want them to arrest the perpetrators.’
Photographed at the exit to the stadium where he was almost crushed to death during the massacre of 28 September 2009.
‘I was in the stands when they started shooting. Then the person in front of me was shot in the shoulder so I knew it was real. I was beaten on the head and someone stabbed me in my foot. Then at the entrance I fell on top of a dead person and was crushed by the crowd. I could hear shooting above me, then I passed out. MSF were taking me to the morgue, thinking I was dead, when I vomited blood at the entrance to the morgue. They rushed me to hospital instead. I can’t feel my right foot anymore and I have pain in my back. I am not myself anymore. I am always feeling pain. Sometimes I feel like I’m crazy. I hope God will help us find justice.’
Photographed by the drainage ditch where he was shot by the security forces on 22 January 2007.
‘I was standing in front of my business, a motorcycle shop, with two friends. I heard rumours soldiers had shot a person in Madina, so I went over to see what was going on. I helped the Red Cross load the wounded man into a car. There was lots of shooting. I sheltered in a drain and tried to sneak home.
Then I felt pain in my right leg and I realised I’d been shot. People loaded me onto a makeshift cart and took me to Donka Hospital. There was lots of shooting in the hospital but eventually the soldiers left. Now if I walk too much I get pain, and can’t walk properly. I felt shocked. Now I’m just hoping for justice for what happened.’
Photographed at the spot where he was arrested by the police before being tortured on 23 October 2010.
‘There was a customer in my shop when I heard soldiers banging on my neighbour’s door. Then people started to run. I ran too, but a policeman shouted “if you move I shoot”. He struck me with his rifle butt. Another soldier took everything from my pockets. They handcuffed me in the truck and sent me to the brigade in Hamdallaye. They stripped us and kicked us for ten minutes. Two people held my hands, two my feet. I was face down on a table. All in front of the governor. Then they hit us with 100 baton strikes. We thought our lives were finished. I got hit in the eye and I can’t see out of it anymore. I’m also now infertile and I still have pain in my groin.
When I see a soldier, all I want is revenge. But I know I am powerless.’
Photographed in the stands at the national stadium where she was raped by soldiers on 28 September 2009.
‘I was held in the stadium and raped there in the stands. They hit me on the head and I lost consciousness. When I regained consciousness I saw a soldier in front of me and he helped me to put on my clothes.
He said he would help me but another soldier turned up and ordered me to laugh while he shot dead three men. Then he made me drag some bodies out of the way at the gates of the stadium. Another soldier was playing music and forcing people to dance naked. I got HIV. Since that time I’ve always felt sick, though now I am taking the treatment. I think about that day all the time. I think those people need to see justice.’
Photographed at his house where the police came to arrest him in 1985, before torturing him and putting him in prison.
‘I was arrested on 6 July 1985. I was watching TV when the attempted coup happened. But they accused me anyway. In the camp I was interrogated from 1am to 5am every day. They put tyres around our necks and beat us.
They electrocuted us. It was difficult to stay hopeful. Sometimes they would take a group of people outside and then we would hear shots. They tortured people in front of us. The people who made us suffer were also the ones in power. After I was released we had to live in a village, forbidden to visit Conakry. My wife cried a lot. For 25 years we have lived without dignity. I hope one day people will know the truth.’
Photographed outside her old house where she found out her father had been arrested. The government of Sékou Touré went on to execute her father and confiscate the house.
‘My father was an early Guinean intellectual. He was minister of planning at the time he was arrested in 1976. It happened at night. These arrests always happened at night. When I arrived in the morning I learned my father was gone. I never saw him again. Years later we found out that he was dead. It’s a huge injustice. Sékou Touré confiscated our house and all our things. First we need to know the truth before any kind of reconciliation. We can’t understand why we’re still in this state. The authorities know what happened, but perhaps they were involved in the process. I am frustrated. It’s been five years of democracy and nothing has been done. Why?’
Photographed in his former home at the spot where he was hit by a falling bullet during unrest on 22 January 2007.
‘On 22 January I was going to bathe when a bullet came through the roof and into my lower back. It lodged in my stomach. I had heard shooting in the area. My parents took me to a clinic but they said they couldn’t help me. There was no law at that time. Soldiers were shooting inside Donka Hospital. I lay on the bed for 19 hours before they operated. I still feel the pain. Sometimes it’s so bad I can’t walk. And I still can’t eat much.’
Photographed at the gates of the national stadium where he was beaten unconscious and had his leg broken during the massacre of 28 September 2009.
‘I ran towards the exit but the soldiers pushed us back so I fell down and people trampled over me. I was shouting, and the man behind tried to pull me out but there were too many bodies. My leg snapped. I still have scars down my right shin. A soldier saw me and told me to walk out on my broken leg. I told him “I can’t stand on my broken leg so just kill me”. Then the soldier beat me with his gun and I lost consciousness. I can use my leg again but it still hurts. Whenever I think about it I’m nervous. Sometimes I get twinges of pain in my head. It happens every day, but not for long, like an electric shock.’
Photographed on the bridge from which her husband was hanged on the orders of President Sékou Touré in 1971.
‘My husband was Ousmane Baldé, the finance minister. Sékou Touré accused him of wanting to take power. One day soldiers came to our house and said he had been arrested. Then one of our children heard at school that he had been hung from the bridge. When we heard it we cried. They kicked us out of our home and stole whatever they found.’
Photographed at the spot where he was struck by a stray bullet during the unrests on 22 January 2007.
‘I went to market to find my mother, then we both went back to the house. I walked outside to go to the toilet when a bullet hit me in the back. I fell down and passed out. The Red Cross sent me to Donka. Now I have blurred vision. And pain, sometimes behind the eyes, sometimes in my head, sometimes all the way down my spine. Now we need justice. There are too many victims in Guinea.’
Photographed at the point in the national stadium where he was trampled trying to flee from the massacre that occurred on 28 September 2009.
‘When I was at the stadium they started shooting gas. Then the Red Berets militaries came in. I was at the top of the stands when they started shooting. I jumped down. At the entrance the soldiers were strangling people to death. Some of them were also stabbing them. One of the soldiers grabbed me by the neck and I fell down and got trampled. Now I can’t sit down anywhere for a long time. I have pain in my lower body. I used to be a tailor but I can no longer do that work. What I want is justice for the victims. To find the perpetrators and try them and for these things never to happen again in this country.’
Photographed outside her home in Conakry where she was hit by a stray bullet in 2007.
‘The soldiers were shooting a lot that day and a bullet hit me in the head. I was pregnant but I lost the baby that day. I haven’t been able to have one since. I am frustrated as justice has not been done. I also need compensation.’
Photographed (left) outside the house where she lived with her sister Habibatou Camara after the two of them were raped at the national stadium on 28 September 2009.
‘I left my house not thinking that I would be raped on that day. I wanted change for my country. I saw death close at hand. The NGOs have done a lot for us. I want justice to be done because a lot of victims have already died since that time.’
Photographed outside the post office where he was stationed during the night of an attempted coup in 1985. Lamine was nevertheless accused of conspiring in the coup, tortured and imprisoned by the government of Lansana Conté.
‘I was bodyguard to the security minister, Diarra Traoré. On 4 July we got an alert and were deployed to the post and telecommunication office. There was an attempted coup. The next day the commander asked for the names of those who weren’t on the base the night before. He arrested us. Two days later they sent us to the Alpha Yaya Diallo Camp (the main military camp in Conakry) where we were cuffed, naked like pigs. Men and women alike. We spent eight days without water or food. At night they left us tied up and doused us with water. After eight days the interrogations began. We were suspended from the ceiling and they lit a fire beneath us. They demanded I acknowledge being part of the coup. They smashed my collarbone when they dropped me. I was naked for three months. But I always refused to sign the papers. Then cholera hit. Every day three or four people would die. I was released in an amnesty on 31 December 1987. I was kept in pitch black for so long I still can’t see properly.’
Photographed (right) at the spot where he and his friend, Thierno Mamadou Baldé, were arrested and subsequently tortured on 23 October 2010.
‘It was Saturday 23 October 2010. Red Berets soldiers came to my place. I was in my shop. I hadn’t realised the whole place was surrounded. I thought I’d be safe inside my shop. A soldier ordered me out and called me a rebel. He wouldn’t let me close the shop. Then he hit me with his gun. I still have scars from the beating. And I still feel pain in my chest. When I was released I couldn’t even stand. My whole body was battered. Every time I see a soldier I am afraid. It was the worst thing in my life. Still I wonder why that had to happen to me.’
Photographed in the Madina taxi park where his brother was shot dead by the security forces in 2007.
‘It was the time of the general strike in Guinea. He said he wouldn’t be gone long. Suddenly a group of soldiers appeared on the bridge above the parking lot and started shooting. He was shot in the neck and died instantly.’
Photographed with his sister on the bridge where his grandfather was hanged by the Sékou Touré regime in 1971.
‘I never even knew my grandfather [also called Ousmane Baldé], and I only know his face from photos. The government need to apologise. They have a duty to tell people the history of this country.’
Photographed at the house in Conakry where his father was arrested and subsequently executed by the Sékou Touré regime.
‘My father was Tibou Tounkara, the delegate minister of the Forest Region. After the attempted coup led by Portuguese troops in 1970, they arrested him and executed him in July 1971. At that time 17 out of the 24 Ministers were arrested. Until 1984 I always hoped I would see my father again. It was very hard for us not knowing. In order to have reconciliation here we first need the truth. Guinea is a sad country. People look at each other like strangers.’
Photographed in the national stadium where she was attacked with an iron bar and had her hand broken by the security forces on 28 September 2009.
‘Two policemen beat me with an iron bar and injured my hand. Afterwards I went to a doctor for treatment, but when my husband heard that I was at the stadium he abandoned me. My life was spoiled on that day.’
Photographed at the stadium terrace where she had her legs broken by soldiers on 28 September 2009.
‘My left leg was broken as a result of the soldiers’ brutality on us. Since then I have been traumatised and afraid of gatherings. Sometimes I think about revenge. I hope justice prevails so Guinea never has to relive a situation like that.’
Photographed outside the post office where he was stationed during the night of an attempted coup in 1985. Moriba was nevertheless accused of conspiring in the coup, tortured and imprisoned by the government of Lansana Conté.
‘I was at the post and telecommunication office when the coup attempt happened. But they arrested me anyway. They hit us with their belts. For a month we got one meal a day. All of us were naked, the men and the women. We were tied so tightly and for so long that my right leg is permanently damaged. We were tied up on the floor for 24 hours. I’m frustrated. Even my children accused me of being part of a coup. Even now, nobody knows the truth.’
Photographed outside the national stadium where she was raped by members of the security forces on 28 September 2009.
‘I was raped behind the stadium. Since then I can’t understand my life. I was breastfeeding and my husband abandoned me. My children can’t go to school and I can’t pay my rent.’
Photographed outside his former residence which was confiscated by the state after he was accused of being part of a coup attempt in 1985.
‘I was sent to control the coup members, but later got accused of being part of it. My arms and legs are scarred from being hung up for so long. They dropped me and knocked out all my front teeth on the top row. I also have eye problems, after so long in the dark. Life was not the same after that. Police took all my things and banned me from returning to the capital.’
Photographed by the gate where she was attacked while fleeing the massacre at the stadium on 28 September 2009.
‘I was beaten with a rifle butt and kicked as I tried to escape the stadium. My shoulder was broken and the doctors had to operate on my hand. I still have pain there. I was forced to take off my clothes and my underwear. They wanted to rape me but one of the military saved me. Often when I sleep I wake up suddenly from the nightmares.’
Photographed at the spot where he was arrested and subsequently tortured on 23 October 2010.
‘I was arrested in 2010 by Sékouba Konaté’s presidential guards. I was working in the shop when the soldiers came in pursuing Aliou Barry, the former President of the National Observatory for Human Rights (ONDH). They took me inside the truck with other people and sent me to Hamdallaye where I was tortured by the police officers. I am frustrated that my right is not restored to date. I hope that justice will be on my side in the end.’
Photographed at the entrance to the stadium where he was beaten by police on 28 September 2009.
‘They beat me on the head and it was five days before I could hear again from my right ear. It frustrates me that we still have no justice and the perpetrators are walking around freely.’
Photographed outside his former residence where he was beaten unconscious by the police during a strike in 2007.
‘On 22 January I was sitting with friends outside my house in Tanéné Marché. We saw soldiers arriving in a pick up. We ran and scattered. The first ones inside locked the door. I got stuck outside. I tried to climb over the gate but they caught me. They began to kick and insult me. “You’re one of those strikers. You don’t want us in power” they said. That day was the most dangerous. No hospitals. No vehicles in the streets. They beat me with rifle butts. I had pain everywhere but especially in my head. They knocked me unconscious so I don’t know what they did to me. From that time, every time I see a soldier I feel nervous. I still have pain in my hand and forearm. I think they are the enemy. And the same people are in power. There is no will for justice. I feel abandoned by my country.’
Photographed in the house where she lives with her children after being abandoned by her husband, who left her when he found out she had been raped at the stadium on 28 September 2009.
‘I can’t say much about that date. What I know is that my life changed for the worse. I am not in good health and I am responsible for all of my children. I want justice to be done so that the truth come to light.’
Photographed returning to the national stadium for the first time since she was arrested and abused by the security forces on 28 September 2009.
‘I was at the stadium on 28 September and the soldiers arrested me and sent me to Camp Alpha Yaya Diallo (the main military camp in Conakry), where I was abused along with other young women for 24 hours. I want justice to be done because the impunity for soldiers in Guinea is continuing and the state cannot provide security to its citizens.’