Tazmamart: 18 Years in Morocco’s Secret Prison
by Aziz BineBine, translated from the French by Lulu Norman


Publication Date: April 2020
RRP: £14.99
190 pp


‘A beautifully composed memoir that chronicles twenty years of death and degradation in a secret state prison, yet also reads as the spiritual pilgrimage of an ascetic…a compassionate testimony of the loves and aspirations, childhood memories and adult ambitions of those buried at Tazmamart’ – Barnaby Rogerson

‘In a jumble of rumours, one passed almost unnoticed.

It concerned a military prison being built in the desert. Its name was Tazmamart.’

This is the true story of Aziz BineBine who, unwittingly entangled in a failed coup against King Hassan II, found himself locked in a small, underground cell in a prison thought to be a mere horror story: Tazmamart. For 18 years, no one knew where the prison’s inmates were. No one knew if they were even alive. In many ways, they hardly were: confined for 24 hours a day, with the barest rations, no hygiene or medical help, and accompanied by cockroaches, scorpions, and tarantulas. One of the few to survive, Aziz writes not only to tell his own remarkable story but to remember and honour the men that lived – and died – alongside him. Against the backdrop of this unimaginable suffering, Aziz shows the strength of the human spirit to keep going against all the odds, to smile in the face of misery, and to forgive rather than condemn. Set to become a cult classic of survival literature, Tazmamart is a hellish journey through the abyss of despair – and out the other side.

Author Bio

Aziz BineBine is a Moroccan author and former army officer. He completed his secondary education within the French lycée system and then entered the Royal Military Academy. Appointed as an instructor to train cadets at Ahermoumou Military School, he was unwittingly involved in the 1971 coup d’état against King Hassan II. Judged and condemned, BineBine spent 18 years in Tazmamart prison. He now lives in Marrakech.