Senegalese opposition main coalition Yewwi Askan Wi launches a new call to demonstrate on Wednesday, June 29, to protest the rejection of his national list led by Ousmane Sonko ahead of the July 31 legislative election. On June 17, the mobilization had been banned by the administrative authorities, and was then the cause of clashes with the police that caused three deaths, in Dakar and in Casamance. Amnesty International calls on the Senegalese authorities to respect the right to demonstrate.
as reported from Dakar, Charlotte Idrac
Permit or not, “the mobilization will take place”, Yewwi Askan Wi had warned. During last meeting on June 17the prefect of Dakar had banned the demonstration because of “threats to disturb public order” and “violation of the electoral law”, which prohibits all “disguised propaganda” during the period before the campaign
The context this Wednesday has not changed. In a press release published on Tuesday, June 28, Amnesty International warns of “a real threat to the right to demonstrate in Senegal”. The organization calls on the authorities to “guarantee the right to peaceful assembly enshrined in the Constitution”, and also condemns “arbitrary arrests”.
Several opposition leaders were arrested for defying the ban on demonstrations – among others Member of Parliament Déthié Fall and Mame Diarra Fam, and Guédiawaye Mayor Ahmed Aïdara- were finally released on Monday 27 June. Guy Marius Sagna, head of the list Yewwi Askan Wi in the Ziguinchor department of Casamance, was tried on Tuesday.
On the side of the ruling coalition, Benno Bokk Yaakaar, the Council of Elders says they note the “increase in tension” before the parliamentary elections and calls on all coalitions to “respect constitutional legality” and to “ban all forms of political violence”.
In a manifesto, about fifty academics warn of “the authorities’ failure to apply the law”.
On Tuesday evening, June 28, Ousmane Sonko announced “a statement” from the leaders of Yewwi Askan Wi on Wednesday.
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