Postcards from hell


A long dark corridor.. Smell of burnt oil, urine, smoke, staleness that smelled like death. The army, police, weapons, one crucifix and a single verse, guarded the entrance to the Central Prison of Congo.

We were welcomed by general Dioub, head of prisoners and even more than that, one of the commanders of the Interahamwe, the notorious Hutu militia which was responsible for the deaths with machetes of hundreds of thousands of people. We shook hands with the devil. Personally.


Imagine the interior of the prison of most violent, most corrupt and one of the world’s poorest countries. Too many-’most’ in so little space. Residents? Representation from hell where no one even knows the number. And who would even be able to count them? It is estimated that within a few hundred square meters, more than 2,000 peopleis living of which at least half has no bed or closet, or cell, nor uniform, nor food. Too many –’no’s’!

The army and the police that safeguards the prison is actually trying to protect themselves. Although photographing was strictly forbidden, all those restrictions remained outside these walls. General is the master of life and death in here, not only in this prison, or in this city. He allowed us to take picture but only few minutes later he changed his mind.. But it was just enough for us to make a couple of postcards from hell.