A book of quiet heroismBMJ 2009; 338 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b216 (Published 28 January 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b216
- Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor
The worst dictatorships try to destroy not only people but memory itself; and among the worst dictatorships in a century full of dictatorships was that of Ahmed Sékou Touré, president of the West African state of Guinea for more than a quarter of the 20th century. A third of a population fled his rule, and many thousands were tortured and killed, victims of the dictator’s paranoia.
A Guinean doctor, Mandiouf Mauro Sidibe, has recently published a book, La fin de Sékou Touré (The End of Sékou Touré), which tries to preserve an aspect of that dark period of his country’s history. He has kept and transcribed the radio commentary that accompanied the dictator’s state funeral, which was attended by many heads of state …