Senegal ALERT: Police raids newspaper, halts printing

Plain-clothed policemen in Senegal stormed the printing house of Le Populaire, a Dakar-based independent daily newspaper in the night and halted work on the next issue of the newspaper.

Le Populaire’s printing materials such as plates and newsprints were confiscated by the policemen.

The action of the police was to prevent the newspaper from publishing a petition by Bara Tall, an entrepreneur and a majority shareholder of Comm 7 Group, publishers of Le Populaire.

Tall had in the said petition demanded a probe into a “missing” amount of FCFA 20 billion (about 445 million US$) paid to the government by SUDATEL, a privately-owned telecommunication group, following the granting of the company’s operating license.

When the police stormed the premises, the gate was locked so they went to the home of Pape Diouf , the caretaker of the printing house, picked him up, interrogated him for a while, at the country’s ministry of interior, before being forced to open the office. He was released after writing a statement.

Tall condemned the action of the police saying he was unperturbed and would go ahead to circulate the petition through the internet. The newspaper has since resumed publication.

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