Saidou Guindo
Detention Warden
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Interview Date:
October 16, 2008
Arusha, Tanzania
Donald J Horowitz
Lisa P. Nathan
Max Andrews
Nell Carden Grey
39:07 - 43:08


Lisa P. Nathan: Would you like to revisit the question on whether – if you revoke detainees’ privileges to go to the cafeteria, then . . .
Yeah. No, I just would like to say that if there is a sanction taken to prevent the detainees to, to go to the cafeteria, it means he will be served in his cell, in his compound especially. Not in the cell but in the compound to prevent him moving around, yes.
LPN: I understand. So when – in your time here if you can reflect back, has there been one or two things that have surprised you about how things as you implemented – you know, it was no longer a theory, here’s the implementation of the detention facility. What has surprised you about that?
What surprised me was that at the beginning it was – I was a little bit worried to dealing with these kinds of people because well educated people, high ranking people high ranking military people and also ministers and politician.
And, I was (___), I was worried if I really I can, I can, what they say, the challenge; if I can do it. And then I did it. This has surprised me. I’m surprised that I am someone who is really capable to do these kinds of things.
LPN: So what was it, like a spec- . . .
Give me a very big confident, yes.
LPN: Can you give me a, a specific thing of what you thought they might do in there because of their educational backgrounds? What problems they might – a specific idea of what you were worried might happen?
Because at the beginning they, everything – they were doing what, whatever they want. Whatever they want they will do it. They will bring everything inside the prison; money and everything. And the investigator are coming and doing whatever they want. And then we put an end of that and then we put order.
And then we start building a different compound. There was two or three big compound; now we have 18 compound. And we impose the closing of cells and then they cannot move as they want. Before they were moving as they want. And all those things they went to write a lot of letters, they went even on a hunger strike but we maintain our position and then we, really, we win. Yeah . . .
LPN: So . . .
We, we were able to maintain a kind of discipline and order in the detention. Yeah.
LPN: So when you first arrived . . .
Because even before some of our, our prison officers, even security officers were fearing, because they were saying, “I am a minister, I am a general, I am a colonel, I am a major.” And then they, they, they behave like a colonel, like a general, like a minister.
I said, “No, here you are a detained person and you must obey. Nothing that. You’re not a minister.” And even at the, at the tribunal, there they were, at the beginning, they were treated as a minister, they were even scared to handcuff them. No, we have to treat them as a detainee but on a human way of course.