Senegal, touted as a “democratic mannequin” in West Africa, is dealing with rising tensions, a yr forward of the presidential election.
A number of activists and members of the opposition are denouncing “a retreat from democracy” attributable to, amongst different issues, “arbitrary arrests” and bans on demonstrations.
In recent times, a number of different distinguished opponents of the president have had their political careers minimize quick by authorized circumstances.
“We’re not the showcase of democracy that we boast about in entrance of different African international locations, we’re not higher than the others. We’ve a president who, by means of his actions since he got here to energy, has succeeded in bringing our democracy to the bottom, and the worst factor is that right now he has this challenge of a 3rd candidacy for which he’ll do no matter it takes, no matter ignoble acts it takes,” mentioned Aliou Sané, coordinator of the motion ‘Y en a marre’.
Senegalese journalists have additionally been victims of presidency harassment and arbitrary arrests.
An area journalist was arrested this week for contempt of courtroom.
“Freedom of expression doesn’t solely belong to journalists, freedom of expression belongs to all Senegalese. Right now, what number of Senegalese are in jail for merely expressing their views by means of social networks particularly?” requested Moustapha Diop, a basic supervisor of Walf TV.
As human rights organizations sound the alarm, the state says there may be “no disaster” as a result of judicial “channels and treatments” can be found to Senegalese who really feel aggrieved.
“We’ve greater than 100 individuals who have been arrested as a result of they’re near the opposition and important of the federal government, and it is a pattern that’s strongly deplored, particularly the abusive arrests of individuals for his or her feedback on social networks or their political opinion,” mentioned Ousmane Diallo, Ousmane Diallo, a researcher at Amnesty’s regional workplace in Dakar.
The primary opposition determine Ousmane Sonko, 48, has loved a fast political rise thanks partially to his reputation with younger folks.
However he has repeatedly been summoned to courtroom over the previous two years.
The subsequent presidential elections have been scheduled for February 25, 2024, authorities additionally introduced on Thursday.
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