Senegal: 3 publishers arrested and detained on the same day

On July 14, 2015, police detained Mohamed Gueye and Alioune Badara Fall, publishers of Le Quotidien and L’Observateur, newspapers respectively.

The two had been separately summoned to appear before the police at Colobane for interrogation.

It was the third summons for Gueye, who had been summoned twice before in June following the publication in Le Quotidien of the verbatim hearing of the counterfeiting and fraud case of Senegalese singer, Thione Seck.

The MFWA’s correspondent in Guinea reported that Gueye, who was invited for a simple hearing this month, was later detained for “violation of the confidentiality of investigations.” According to our correspondent’s sources, Gueye was held at the police station until he was permitted to go to the mosque on his own request.

In the case of Fall, he and his reporter colleague, Mamadou Seck, were summoned to answer questions related to an article on the flight plan of Senegalese soldiers about to be deployed to Saudi Arabia. According to authorities, the departure of the soldiers had not been planned yet, hence the publication was false.

Fall and Seck were later freed in the evening of July 14.

Also on July 14, Mamadou Wane, publisher of Enquête and also the director of the online newspaper, was summoned, detained and later freed.

Meanwhile, the Union of Senegalese Information and Communication Professionals (Syndicat des Professionnels de l’Information et de la Communication du Sénégal -SYNPICS) have decried these incidents. According to its general secretary, Ibrahima Khaliloulah Ndiaye, these arrests and detentions are a ploy by the police and authorities to “terrorise” the media.

The MFWA joins SYNPICS in condemning these press freedom violations. We also call on the authorities to respect and protect the right to freedom of expression instead of silencing journalists through threats of and actual deprivations of liberty.

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