Senegal: ACHPR condemns the use of force against demonstrators and calls on the liberation of those arbitrarily arrested

Press release
en fr

Formally seized by FIDH and its member and partner organisations in Senegal, to adopt, on the occasion of its 11th Extraordinary Session, a strong position on the deterioration of the human rights situation in Senegal, the ACHPR adopted a Resolution condemning the acts of violence, hindrances to fundamental freedoms and other human rights violations perpetrated in Senegal within the course of the electoral process.

Two days before the presidential election scheduled for February 26, our organisations call on the Senegalese authorities to conform with the provisions of this Resolution, in particular by proceeding to the immediate release of demonstrators arbitrarily arrested and by guaranteeing freedoms of peaceful demonstration, expression or opinion.

FIDH, RADDHO, ONDH and LSDH documented and denounced the systematic repression of peaceful demonstrations during the Senegalese electoral process and more generally the negative human rights balance sheet of President Abdoulaye Wade [1] . In its Resolution, (ACHPR/RES.208 (EXT.OS/X1)2012), the ACHPR echoes our concerns by strongly condemning “the persistent and serious human rights violations which are tarnishing the electoral campaign, and the use of force against peaceful demonstrators”. Besides, the Commission urges the Government of Senegal to “guarantee the right to freedom of opinion, of expression, of assembly and of peaceful demonstration”, to “guarantee [...] the security of all its citizens and that of the Leaders of the Opposition”, “to put an end to all acts of intimidation, to immediately and unconditionally release the demonstrators who were arbitrarily arrested, and to take all the necessary measures to put an end to impunity by ensuring that all perpetrators of acts of violence are brought to justice” [2] .

“Today, the all world keeps an eye open on Senegal and the Resolution just adopted by the principal African Human Rights mechanism is one of the more recent proof of that. The Senegalese authorities can not stay impassive in front of these continuing calls on calm, appeasement and dialogue without running the risk to see the country go deeper into political, institutional and security instability” declared Sidiki Kaba, FIDH Honorary President.

FIDH, RADDHO, ONDH and LSDH call on the Senegalese authorities to take all necessary measures to apply the ACHPR recommendations and to guaranteeing the holding, in calm, of free and transparent elections.

Read more