CIVIC SPACE UNDER THREAT!
Statement on the Current Political and Security Developments in Senegal
The West Africa Civic Space Resource Hub (CSR-Hub) notes with deep concern the recent political and security developments in Senegal, following the verdict against leader of the opposition, Ousmane Sonko, who was sentenced to two years in prison for “corrupting youth” on 01 June 2023.
We are alarmed by the crackdowns on protesters by law enforcement officers in Senegal, which has resulted in 23 deaths and over 30 injured citizens. We are terribly disturbed by the breech of the Senegalese digital rights through the suspension of several social media and messaging platforms, and restriction of internet access.
The CSR-Hub therefore calls on President Macky Sall’s administration to put in place appropriate safeguards to protect the lives and properties of Senegalese and uphold human rights and the rule of law. Likewise, we demand that the administration restrain the state security forces from excessive use of force in their attempt to restore calm.
We stand in solidarity with the people of Senegal and all who are demanding for respect for human rights, press freedom, rule of law and consolidated democracy in Senegal.
Accordingly, we call on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), the international community, friends, and partners of Senegal to proactively engage President Macky Sall’s administration for a lasting solution to the mounting political and security crisis. We demand that President Sall’s administration desists from gagging citizens’ rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and open civic space.
We equally call on all civil society organisations in Senegal to actively facilitate and participate in progressive dialogue processes instituted by government and relevant stakeholders in the bid to restore peace and foster democracy.
Download pdf version of this statement here.