Director of TV station survives brutal stabbing attack

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) strongly condemns the brazen assault on Maïmouna Ndour Faye, director of the television station 7TV, and urges the government to expedite investigations leading to the arrest of the perpetrator.

On February 29, 2024, Senegal was shocked by a violent attack on Maïmouna Ndour Faye, owner of the Dakar-based 7TV outside her home. The assailant, who remains unidentified, ambushed her, stabbing her multiple times and dragging her on several metres before leaving her unconscious and covered in blood.

The gruesome incident occurred in the evening, shortly after Maïmouna Ndour Faye’s regular programme with Farba Ngom, a Member of Parliament and head of propaganda for the ruling party, the Alliance pour la République (APR).

Fortunately, initial medical assessments indicated that Maïmouna Ndour Faye’s injuries are not life-threatening, and she is responding to treatment. Ibrahima Lissa Faye, head of the press union Coordination des Associations de Presse (CAP), and 7TV news presenter Mamadou Awa Ndiaye confirmed her condition.

The assault has sparked widespread condemnation from journalists, civil society members, and politicians, who have unanimously denounced it as “cowardly” and “despicable.”

President Macky Sall condemned the violence, emphasising that “Press freedom is a fundamental right that must be protected and respected in all circumstances. No form of violence can be tolerated, and those responsible for this attack will have to answer for their actions before the courts.”

In the same statement on the social media platform X, he reaffirmed his commitment to creating a safe environment for media professionals in the country.

“This country has been drifting towards a dangerous slope for some years now with a tendency to impose one-track thinking. Those of us who host political broadcasts are insulted and threatened all day long. Today, intellectuals and some politicians are avoiding public discourse,” lamented Mamadou Awa Ndiaye, a colleague of Mame Faye, who spoke to the MFWA via a messaging App.

Prominent journalist and social justice activist, Mame Diarra Diarra Ndiaye, expressed deep outrage over the brutal attack on Madame Maimouna Ndour Faye in Senegal at the beginning of Women’s History Month on March 1, 2024. As International Women’s Day approached, she called for solidarity and action against the culture of impunity and violence. Justice was demanded not only for Madame Ndour Faye but also for all victims of police violence, arbitrary arrests, and silenced voices.

Several other voices condemned what they termed a criminal act and expressed their solidarity with her.

Karim Wade declared that “the attack against Maimouna Ndour Faye is an attack against everyone”, underlining the importance of supporting the victim.

Candidate Amadou BA’s campaign management denounced this “violent attack” and called for the culprits to be sought out and punished, saying that this act was “unacceptable in a leading democracy.”

The Khalifa Président Coalition also strongly condemned the attack, denouncing “a level of intolerance that is rampant in our society” and expressing its solidarity with Maimouna Ndour Faye.

The Diomaye Président coalition wished the journalist well and also condemned the brutal attack.

The Minister of the Interior, Sidiki Kaba, visited the victim and called the act “despicable”, ordering the relevant services to seek out and apprehend the perpetrators.

The Minister for Communication, Moussa Bocar Thiam, strongly condemned the attack, describing it as “a despicable act and an attempted murder”, and gave assurances that the State would do everything in its power to identify the culprits.

Finally, human rights organisations also expressed their indignation and called for an investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice. These include organisations such as the Ligue Sénégalaise des Droits de l’Homme (LSDH), ARTICLE 19 Sénégal et Afrique de l’Ouest, Amnesty International Sénégal, the Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme (RADDHO), AfrikaJom Center and AfricTivistes.

The CAP labelled the attack as an “act of unacceptable barbarism” and expressed concerns about recurring attacks, particularly against women journalists. It pledged to support Maimouna Ndour Faye in her legal efforts to ensure that the culprits are apprehended and punished.

The MFWA is appalled by the brutal attempted murder of Maïmouna Ndour Faye, and reiterates its call for swift investigations leading to the arrest of the culprits. While urging the Senegalese state to be more diligent for the safety of Maimouna and all other journalists, we urge all journalists to be more cautious in the field.

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