Picture galleries

Experience our photographers’ unique views on detention by browsing the picture gallery below. These photographers have generously shared their portfolios with us.

The Dungeon

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OPG (Officier de la Police General), general police officer, responsible for the detention cell in Buhinjuza, near the city Muyinga. — ©Nathalie Mohadjer
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25 year old Miboro infront of his cell in Buhinjuza, near the city Muyinga Burundi 2009. He has been arrested for raping a young girl. The girl will be forced by her family to marry him, a decision made by the two families, and he will be freed without a trial in the next days. — ©Nathalie Mohadjer
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Inside a detention cell of Cibitoke, 38 men and children are imprisoned. Most prisoners are being held there for up to two years. By law, the prisoners have to be judged 14 days max. after being captured. — ©Nathalie Mohadjer
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©Nathalie Mohadjer
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©Nathalie Mohadjer
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©Nathalie Mohadjer
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The prisoners receive no food by the government in these detention cells.The family members outside have to bring it to them. Few prisoners have no food for weeks and they beg the others to get the le over’s. — ©Nathalie Mohadjer
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©Nathalie Mohadjer
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10 years old Eli-Davide with his friend where both captured in a CD shop while other people stole CDs and ran away. They have been held for three weeks and no family member has contacted them yet. — ©Nathalie Mohadjer
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©Nathalie Mohadjer
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©Nathalie Mohadjer
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©Nathalie Mohadjer
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©Nathalie Mohadjer
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11 years old Marie was arrested 3 weeks earlier, after stealing the cell phone of Muyingas Administrator. — ©Nathalie Mohadjer
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©Nathalie Mohadjer
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©Nathalie Mohadjer
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©Nathalie Mohadjer
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©Nathalie Mohadjer
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©Nathalie Mohadjer
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14 years old Jamila was arrested 4 days ago because of helping her friend stealing money from her landlord. Women are sleeping generally in the floor-part. The Policeman says that there is no contact between men and women, but the men have to cross the women's floor to use the toilet. — ©Nathalie Mohadjer
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©Nathalie Mohadjer
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©Nathalie Mohadjer
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©Nathalie Mohadjer
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©Nathalie Mohadjer
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Judges waiting in Buhinjuza, near the city of Muyinga. — ©Nathalie Mohadjer
Find in
125

In the centre of the vast African continent, there is a constellation of misery. Fetid, isolated, and often illegal, Burundi’s single-cell “cachot” prisons are off the radar of even many of the country’s human rights organisations. Children as young as ten crouch in the reeking dark of these dungeons, sometimes for years, often with no evidence against them, and rarely having seen the inside of a court room. The Burundian constitution states fourteen days as the maximum imprisonment; the reality is a violent miscarriage of any sense of justice.

For many prisoners, the only crime they have encountered is that of their imprisonment, and torture at the hands of the police. Arrested for infractions as myriad as sorcery and murder – or in the case of 10 year old Eli-Davide in Cibitoke, for just watching a stranger stealing DVDs – the unlucky pass from the violent hands of the police to the abuses of life under prisoner chiefs: “If someone new can’t pay the cachot tax, he can spend a week without sitting down, without eating – he must live in the corner where we shit in the night.” Without documentation or representation, these losers of the seemingly random justice game are truly lost.

Laura Gabrielle Dix

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Nathalie Mohadjer

Photograph

Nathalie Mohadjer is a german-iranian photographer.
Her photography projects are about the different aspects of living conditions, evoked through political changing’s - for instance by war and political conflict. She has producing photographic series, either working with the support of local NGOs or on her own, mainly in the balcan regions.

After moving to Paris in Summer 2007 and as a consequence of – what might be called - “postcolonial traumata” in Europe Nathalie decided to broaden her topics by paying attention to the consequences of colonization in African countries.

Works like Totems, style-life photographs about the illegal African workers in Paris or The Dungeon, prison photographs in Burundi and Elysian Fields, and further on about a repatriation camp in Burundi, are reflecting on this issue. Her work has been internationally exhibited and published.

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