The IPI global network condemns the arrest in Senegal of journalist Pape Alé Niang, a journalist working with the online news platform Dakar Matin. IPI calls on authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Alé Niang. Separately, IPI condemns the assault on Fatou Dione, a Senegalese journalist working with the online news platform Buurs News.
On November 6, security forces arrested Pape Alé Niang, an investigative journalist, and editor-in-chief of the online platform Dakar Matin. Pape Alé Niang is known for his criticism of the government.
The arrest of Pape Alé Niang follows his participation in a live Facebook broadcasting program in connection with a judicial scandal involving Ousmane Sonko, a member of the opposition political party Patriots of Senegal.
Authorities have accused the journalist of defaming the gendarmerie and divulging military secrets. The journalist has since been in detention.
“Authorities should ensure that critical journalists can work free from reprisal or harassment”, IPI Director of Advocacy Amy Brouillette said. “Authorities should immediately and unconditionally release Pape Alé Niang, and revise laws that can be used to criminalize the work of journalists.”
The arrest of Pape Alé Niang is not the only recent incident of concern regarding press freedom in Senegal. One day earlier, on November 5, 2022, Senegalese security forces attacked journalist Fatou Dione while she was covering a banned public demonstration organized by the COLIDEP, an organized group for the release of political prisoners.
IPI calls on authorities to investigate the assault on Dione to ensure accountability for those responsible and to deter further attacks on journalists on the part of the security forces.