In the decades since, the region has faced repression, military rule, stifled press, human rights abuses, mass killings, and a declining economy. Guinea is again facing a period of acute political instability — in October, Alpha Condé, Guinea's controversial head of state, won a third term in office, amid violent protests that resulted in the deaths of more than 90 people. Many more have been arrested, or killed, over political affiliation with the opposing party. Camara was targeted for this very reason.
Camara and his colleagues organised a team of medical students and registered doctors to treat people who were being turned away from hospitals for their involvement in protests — many of whom, he says, had been shot by the military or police. After hearing about an upcoming protest, Camara and his colleagues met up to plan how they’d organise first aid and treatment. “After our meeting, my friends went to their homes and... one group of military or soldiers came to the home and shot them dead — one in the head and the other one in the chest.” Camara says the same group of soldiers came to his home too. “But that day I wasn't at home. So maybe that is why I am alive now.” Camara had to flee immediately, and his wife, Mama, went to hide with her family. His brother who lives in another country was able to get his child out, but he wasn’t allowed to take Mama with him. “I didn't have any chance to see them or to take them with me,” Camara says. “Because it was too dangerous for me and for them.”
When Camara made it to the UK, he set to work to get his family over too — but he quickly ran out of money. “I spent all my money on the process for documents for traveling, because my wife went to another country to have her interview for her visa, and a TB test, everything. It was very expensive for me... I tried to take a loan here, but I didn't have anything.”
Camara contacted the Asylum Link in Liverpool, and told his story. They put him in contact with Miles4Migrants, who were able to quickly get Mama tickets before her visa expired. “They made it very simple — and that made a huge difference for me.” Camara says that if it weren’t for M4M, she may not have made it to the UK. “I was completely in difficulty, I wasn't able to buy the ticket, so maybe my wife wouldn't come if they didn't intervene in time.” Camara and Mama are both now safe in the UK. He’s studying English and for the OAT so he can resume medical practice. They’re also expecting a baby.
“We are here, so everything's okay. We're in security. We’re well assisted, and a lot of organisations are helping us,” Camara says. “So if I can say something to the people who might donate to the organisation, I will say, please donate, because I am not the only one who is in need — a lot of people are in need. They are making a huge difference for people in need, please, if you have the possibility, if you have the wealth to donate to them, please don't hesitate.”