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African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

Press Release on the Protests in Senegal

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) is closely following current events in Senegal, in particular the clashes that erupted between the Senegalese Security Forces and protestors in the capital Dakar, and other parts of the country, following the arrest of Opposition Leader Mr. Ousman Sonko on Wednesday 3rd March 2021, which has left three (3) people dead, many others injured and properties destroyed.

The Commission is deeply concerned by reports that the signals of two local television channels, namely Sen TV and Walf TV were suspended for their live coverage of the protests; and access to social media applications and platforms also disrupted;

The Commission deeply regrets the loss of lives and injuries suffered by protesters; and strongly condemns the destruction of property, forcible interruption of some means of communication and undue restriction of access to information during this period.

The Commission reminds the Government of the Republic of Senegal of its obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, the Guidelines on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa, Guidelines for the Policing of Assemblies by Law Enforcement Officials in Africa and other international human rights instruments ratified by Senegal.

Further, the Commission appeals for calm and urges the Senegalese citizens to exercise their right to freedom of assembly within the bounds of the legitimate limits set by regional and international human rights standards and without resort to acts of violence.

The Commission continues to be seized with the situation.

Done 9 March 2021