09/06/2019

Urgent Action Update: Activist Released on Bail, Still Facing Charges (Senegal: UA 109.19)


Senegalese activist Guy Marius Sagna was released on bail on 16 August, one month after he was first detained for posting comments on Facebook. Charged with ‘false alert of terrorism’’ under the Senegalese Criminal Code, if he is found guilty, he faces a maximum of five years in prison. Amnesty International continues to call on the authorities to immediately drop all charges against Guy Marius Sagna as they relate solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom expression.

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Mr Malick Sall
Minister of Justice
Avenue Jean JAURES, ex ambassade des Etats unis
BP 4030
Dakar, Sénégal
Ambassador Momar Diop
Embassy of the Republic of Senegal
2215 M Street NW, Washington DC 20037
Phone: 202 234-0540 I Fax: 202 629 2961
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Your Excellency,

While I welcome the news that Guy Marius Sagna was released on 16 August, I am concerned to hear that the charges against him are still pending.

As a prominent activist in Senegal, he has regularly been detained simply for exercising his rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression. Most recently, on 30 August, Guy Marius Sagna was arrested, along with five others, after taking part in a peaceful protest on labor rights. He was released without charge a couple of hours later.

Guy Marius Sagna was arbitrarily arrested on 16 July in Dakar by the Gendarmerie’s Brigade Research section. He was first questioned about two of his Facebook posts on the lack of adequate medical facilities in Senegal, 59 years after independence, and the fact that many political leaders in Senegal have had to seek better medical care in Europe. Three days after being detained, Guy Marius Sagna was further questioned about a Facebook post on the FRAPP-France Degage page, an organization that he is a member of, regarding the presence of the French army in Africa and a terror attack in the Sahel region.

On 19 July, he was charged with “spreading false news” and detained at the Central Prison of Rebeuss in Dakar. The prosecutor later changed the charge against Guy to “false alert of terrorism” on 5 August.

I urge you to ensure that all charges against Guy Marius Sagna are immediately dropped, as they stem solely from the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom expression; and that the right to freedom of expression is fully respected, protected, promoted and fulfilled in Senegal.

Yours sincerely

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