Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Rights bodies urge Senegal to respect law

20 February 2012, 07:47

Senegal - International and local rights bodies urged Senegal on Saturday to stop clamping down on opposition protests and free those arrested in the past week for demonstrating against President Abdoulaye Wade.

Attempted protests in Dakar in recent days have been banned and dispersed by police using tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon, as tension rises ahead of February 26 presidential elections in which Wade is seeking a third term.

"Senegalese authorities cannot contradict the Senegalese law," said Souhay Belhassen, president of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) in a statement.

"The authorities must come to their senses and allow political and public expression of opponent and citizens, or be seen as an authoritarian regime that is muzzling democracy."

Belhassen said the government justified a ban on protests by a decree published by the prefect of Dakar in July 2011 that barred protests in the centre of the capital.

The ban came shortly after riots last June that rocked the city following attempts by Wade to change the constitution to allow a first-round election victory with 25% of votes, which he later abandoned.

The 85-year-old leader's attempt to seek a third term in office has sparked the most recent protests, with the opposition saying Wade has served his two-term limit and his new bid is unconstitutional.

The FIDH, which released a statement with several local human rights organisations, said the ban on protests was illegal because the electoral code allows candidates to "freely organise meetings and protests" if they gave authorities 24 hour notice.

"On the eve of such an important date for Senegal, the country's highest authorities must act responsibly and calmly, allowing for the free expression of democracy as required by law," read the statement.

The rights bodies said Wade's latest term in office was "marked by regressions in human rights," in reference to the proposed constitutional change, along with violations of civil liberties and judicial independence.


Join in the conversation on News24 Kenya’s Facebook page.

Get the latest news by following us on Twitter



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
4 ways to handle your cheating ma...

He is cheating. How do you handle him?

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Why do men choose second wives?

Why do men choose to have second wives?

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Wizkid set for twin Kenyan shows

Wizkid is back in Kenya. For two shows.

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Udada women's festival begins in ...

The Udada women's festival has arrived in Nairobi.

Submitted by
Uhuru pardons 2747 death row conv...

President Uhuru Kenyatta has pardoned a number of death row convicts, sending them to life sentences instead. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
WATCH: Kaka Sungura arrested in t...

Was Kaka Sungura arrested in town?