“In Macky Sall’s Senegal, saying no = prison! A few hundred members of the Senegalese diaspora demonstrated in Paris on Saturday to denounce the “authoritarian excesses” of President Macky Sall. They answered the call of the party of the Patriots of Senegal for work, ethics and fraternity (Pastef), chaired by Ousmane Sonko.
Candidate declared for that of February 2024, Sonko is the main opponent of the president, who maintains the vagueness on his intention to run for a third term. Chanting the slogans “Macky Sall the dictator”, the demonstrators also shouted the names of Pastef members currently imprisoned in Senegal. They would be at least 102, according to the Pastef, to be detained for crimes of opinion.
“Disregard for freedoms”
“Macky Sall (…) is leading a campaign of embezzlement of public funds and flouting of freedoms”, deplores Pape Alioune Gueye, accountant, with AFP. “Macky Sall locks up journalists, political opponents, prevents peaceful demonstrations”, points out Moulaye Aidara, teacher and executive of Pastef. In the rally, a demonstrator also brandished this sign: “So MARINE, the money of the Senegalese has no smell? »
On Friday, former Prime Minister Cheikh Hadjibou Soumaré was charged with spreading “false news” and placed under judicial supervision. He had asked the president to confirm or deny a donation of 12 million euros to a “French political personality” whose party is distinguished “by hatred and rejection of the other”.
On February 21, the Senegalese justice upheld the referral of Ousmane Sonko to court for alleged “rape and death threats”. He is also being sued by the Minister of Tourism Mame Mbaye Niang for “defamation, insults and forgery”. The trial, scheduled for next Thursday, could be decisive for his candidacy in 2024: the texts provide for ineligibility in certain cases of conviction.