Senegal UPDATE: Court convicts policeman for assaulting journalists

One of the four policemen who were charged for assaulting two sports journalists, Kara Thioune of West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR) and Babacar Kambel Diang of Radio Futurs Médias (RFM) in 2008 was found guilty of the “assault” and “battery” and handed a one-month suspended sentence.

The court awarded Kambel Diang, who filed the case, a sum of 750, 000CFA Francs (about US$ 1,667) as damages. Thioune, who bled profusely after the attack did not join in the suit.

The four policemen led by Lamdou Dioune and drawn from the Multi Strike Force unit of the Senegalese police force, maltreated the two reporters on June 21, 2008 at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium during a post-match interview.

The country’s minister of interior initially cleared his subordinates of any wrong doing, before a police enquiry later found them guilty of the offence.

The policemen reportedly punched, kicked and beat the two reporters with electric baton and handcuffed and detained them for about half an hour, before sending them to the hospital for medical attention.

MFWA was happy about this development especially as it would help the journalists in the country to work without fear or intimidation.

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