Authorities to set up 'impartial and independent' commission to investigate March deadly protests

Supporters of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko attend a demonstration in front of the court in Dakar, after Sonko's arrest, on 8 March 2021. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Peaceful Assembly

Sit-in media professionals to denounce press freedom violations

On 3rd May 2021, on the occasion of International Press Freedom Day, journalists and media workers held a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Culture and Communication in Dakar to denounce the multiple press freedom violations that took place during the recent protests in March 2021, which saw journalists and media outlets attacked and the disruption of broadcasting signals.

Protest against socio-economic injustices

According to news reports, the platform Doyna (Enough in Wolof), which unites fifteen collectives, organised a protest on 8th May 2021 against a range of socio-economic injustices – such as land speculation, the demolition of houses, unfair dismissals – demanding reparations from the government. The protest was authorised by local authorities.

Commission of inquiry for deadly March 2021 protests and violence

On 8th April 2021, Senegal’s government announced that “an impartial and independent” commission would be established with the aim of investigating the lethal violence and protests in March 2021.

As reported previously on the Monitor, protests and violence erupted in Senegal in February and March 2021, which followed accusations of rape and death threats against opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, which the latter denied. According to Amnesty International, at least eight people were killed in protests following the arrest of Sonko in March 2021, some through excessive use of force and the use of firearms by security forces. Individuals in plain clothes with batons, sticks and arms were observed beating up protesters at several sites. At least 100 people were arrested, with several accusing security forces of torture during their detention.

Tags: protest