When we arrived at the DGR station, they asked us to undress. At first, I refused, so they slapped me and punched me in the ear. We tried to tell them this sort of treatment was against the constitution, but they just slapped us some more. Then, they took us to this tiny, dark cell. There was faeces and urine on the walls, as well as tons of mosquitoes. Even criminals do not deserve to be kept there.
Two of the students were asthmatic. And because there was no window in the cell, there was no air. They managed to negotiate with the DRG officers to let them out at night. So they were allowed to go back to the campus to sleep at night, but were forced to come back in the morning and spend the day in the cell with us. On the second day, we gave them photographs we had taken with our mobile phones so that they could put them on the Internet and inform people about our situation.
"They asked us: 'What ethnicity are you? Who is behind your group?"
The officers interrogated us individually. Each time, they asked the same questions: “What ethnicity are you?” “Who is behind your group?” They wanted to know if our ethnicity was Fang, because they think we are backed by André Mba Obame [an opposition figure who lost the presidential election in 2009. He is Fang, which is the largest ethnicity in Gabon, and which those in power link to the opposition]. We replied that we were just fighting for students’ rights. They also asked us to sign a statement saying we were putting an end to our protest. None of us signed it.
"Ever since they let me go, the military police officers have been calling me non-stop on my mobile phone"
Tuesday afternoon, I started feeling really awful. I couldn’t breathe, and the disgusting smells made me faint. [Another student was freed a few hours before; according to Edvine, he was having trouble breathing, too.] The others banged on the cell door so that someone would come. The officers took me out of the cell, but then just left me on the ground for nearly an hour. After that, I was taken to an infirmary, where they gave me an intravenous drip for an hour. They then took me back to the cell. Then on Wednesday afternoon, the officers freed me, saying I should go seek medical treatment. However, I don’t have any money to go to the hospital, so I just went back to campus.
Ever since they let me go, the officers have been calling me non-stop on my mobile phone. They leave me messages asking me to come back to the cell. They must be scared that I’m talking about they did to us. I’m not answering my phone, but I’m afraid that they’ll come find me at the university.