| Fort-Dimanche
The cell…
The dyab…
Jail house layout

The cell measured approximately nine feet in height, ten in width and twelve in length. The walls were blotched with stains of questionable sources. On the west wall an opening dropped from the ceiling level and was barricaded with iron bars.. At times 27 to 46 prisoners were packed and locked 24 hours a day and could only leave the cell at 2h a.m for the 30-second shower. An unprotected electric bulb decorated the ceiling of the cell.


The dyab, a five-gallon container used as a non flushable toilet bowl, most of the time overflowing with urine and feces. Twice a day prisoners took turn emptying it. The dyabs were not replaced often, consequently their rims became serrated, making their use painful. They were also leaking most of the time, making the living conditions even more difficult. The spot designated to the cellmate who was closer to death was always next to the dyab.

Cell's Language…
Returning to FD…
The jail house

Downtown: The latrine area Car: The dyab, the sanitary container
Cage: Jail (“Gone behind the cage” meant that someone had died)
Houlahoope: Set free
Serum: Encouraging news
Hat: Luc Désir, head of Secret Services
Lime: Newcomer with fresh news
Slippers: A not so interesting newcomer
Orange: A Haitian accused of being a communist
Swallow: A woman
To sing: Give information to the authorities

Photographed here in cell # 5 where he was locked up nights and days for a period of three years, waiting for death to strike. Patrick returned to Fort Dimanche as a member of a delegation of victims for a tree-planting ceremony led by President Aristide on February 8, 1991. On the wall, are scribbled the names of his 22 cellmates who perished during this period of time in that cell. On the floor is a replica of the straw mate used as a prison bed.

Front view of the actual building where thousands of victims were held prior to their execution or disappearance.