Tommy Trenchard

Conakry, Guinea

Mohammed Lamine Sow 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 Conte.

'I was bodyguard to the security minister, Diarra Traore. 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.'

Object Name
Tommy Trenchard
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