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Monday, August 8, 2022

Senegal: Court Hands Down Prison Sentence to Opposition MP Over Protests

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A Senegal courtroom Tuesday handed an opposition MP a six-month suspended jail sentence for defying a ban on protests within the tense run-up to legislative elections in July. One other lawmaker and 82 different defendants tried in the identical case have been launched.

MPs Dethie Fall and Mame Diarra Fame have been tried together with the 82 different defendants on the courtroom within the capital Dakar.

They have been arrested on 17 June throughout a rally referred to as by the opposition after its listing of candidates for the elections was disqualified on technical grounds. The rally had been banned by the authorities, citing the danger of unrest.

Clashes broke out in Dakar and the southern area of Casamance after youths defied the ban.

Three folks died and a few 200 have been arrested, in line with the opposition.

Fall “consistently acknowledged having been the primary organiser” of the demonstration, courtroom president Ahmed Ba mentioned, handing him a six-month suspended sentence and effective of 100,000 CFA francs ($160).

The decide dismissed the case in opposition to Fame, saying the information in opposition to her had not been sufficiently established.

Ba additionally acquitted the opposite 82 co-defendants because of “insufficiently established information” on the finish of the trial, which lasted greater than 14 hours, ending early Tuesday.

Constitutional proper to display

Supporters, together with essential opposition chief Ousmane Sonko, had cheered the defendants as they arrived in courtroom Monday morning.

“I reject all these information of which I’m accused,” mentioned Fall. “We’re in Senegal — the best to display is enshrined within the structure.”

Fellow legislator Fame mentioned she was arrested after she and her two youngsters went to see opposition determine and Dakar mayor Barthelemy Dias.

“Inform me if in Senegal the legal guidelines prohibit going to see pals, kinfolk or acquaintances,” she mentioned.

The 2 MPs accused legislation enforcement of “kidnapping” them.

Tensions have been rising since Senegal’s highest courtroom on 3 June upheld the ban on the candidates’ listing.

The bar blocked Sonko, a 2019 presidential candidate, from contesting the 31 July parliamentary election.

The opposition, which has referred to as for recent demonstrations on Wednesday, has threatened to forestall the vote from happening if the listing shouldn’t be reinstated.

Civil society teams have referred to as for dialogue and restraint.

Rigidity is especially excessive because the arrest of Sonko in March final yr result in days of lethal clashes.

(with newswires)

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