Stephen Biko's Death

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Stephen Biko was arrested four times between 1974 and 1977, but continued his activist activities. The government issued a warrant for the arrest of Biko in the summer of 1977. He then went into hiding. Security Police detained Biko at a roadblock near Grahamstown on August 18th. It had been planned that he would be held for 26 days in Port Elizabeth. Stephen Biko was then taken to the security headquarters for interrogation. There, he was beaten, denied medical treatment, and was kept naked because the police stated that it would prevent him from being able to hang himself by using any of his clothing. Stephen Biko was kept naked for 20 days, and chained in a cell. On September 7th, Stephen Biko sustained a head injury during his interrogation, which caused him to act strange and not cooperate with the security police. A doctor examined Biko, while he was naked and lying on a mat, but found nothing wrong with him. Stephen Biko went into a semi-conscious state on September 11, and it was recommended by the police physician for him to be transferred to a hospital. While being put into the back of a truck to travel from Port Elizabeth to Pretoria (12 hours), still naked, Stephen Biko supposedly hit his head. Biko suffered a massive brain hemorrhage, which caused his death. On August 12th, 1977, it was announced that Stephen Biko had died from brain damage at the age of 31.