On Wednesday, government critic and former journalist, Adama Gaye was charged with “offending the head of state” in a series of Facebook posts targeting President Macky Sall about his personal life, also been charged with “manoeuvres and acts that might compromise public security” his lawyer Cheikh Khouraissy Ba said.
He describes himself as an activist for “justice, transparency and progress” and has written numerous articles accusing the government of mismanagement, particularly in the oil and gas sector, which is expected to expand significantly in the years to come.
On Monday evening, Gaye was brought in for questioning, Dakar’s criminal investigation division for “putting out stories contrary to good morals” as well as offending the president.
Amnesty International’s Senegal branch condemned his arrest.
“Any pretext is good for silencing those who criticise Macky Sall’s regime,” local Amnesty spokesperson Seydi Gassama said Tuesday.
In an interview with International channel, he said he was “a political detainee held for his writing about exact facts, questions that are vital for the national sovereignty of Senegal, particularly the management of hydrocarbon resources.”
He was referring to his articles and posts about a scandal over oil and gas contracts awarding of off-shore prospecting and exploitation rights to Petro-Tim, part of the Timis Corporation, in 2012 just after Sall took office, that has shaken the political establishment since a International media report on the subject was broadcast in early June.
According to Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index, the West African country ranks 49th out of 180 countries, according to which “abuses against journalists have been relatively infrequent”, although ” some subjects remain prohibited “.
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20 September, 2019