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Senegal authorities critic launched following court docket order

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A choose on Tuesday (Jan.10) ordered the discharge of a Senegalese journalist and outstanding anti-government critic after greater than two months in detention, his attorneys mentioned.

Broadly adopted in Senegal for his common columns on present affairs, Niang was launched on December 14, 2022 however despatched again to jail per week later, and had since been on a starvation strike in protest at his detention.

His lawyer Moussa Sarr mentioned the momentary launch order got here with a strict ban on Niang commenting on the case in addition to a journey ban.

He was “extraordinarily strained” from a starvation strike launched in protest at his detention, the lawyer mentioned, including that he’s nonetheless in hospital.

The journalist has been at Dakar’s foremost hospital since December 24, the place medical doctors have voiced concern about his situation, in accordance with an area press physique.

One other of his attorneys, Cire Cledor Ly, mentioned the case was “political” and Diang ought to finish the starvation strike.

“He held out, it was very arduous, however he was combating for a precept and he has gained,” the lawyer mentioned.

The case towards Niang arose after he wrote about rape charges faced by Senegal’s main opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko.

Niang was accused of describing confidential messages about safety preparations for Sonko’s questioning by investigators, in accordance with commerce unions.

His arrest sparked a wave of criticism from the press, civil society teams and Senegal’s opposition, with many calling for his launch.

The Coordination of Press Associations put out a press release praising the “victory” of the discharge order, and known as for the cancellation of the “fantasy and political fees which earned him greater than 60 days in jail”.

Senegal has a robust popularity for openness and press freedom in west Africa, however this standing is in decline, in accordance with Reporters With out Borders (RSF).

Its 2022 Press Freedom Index ranked Senegal 73rd out of 180 international locations — a fall of 24 locations in contrast with 2021.