Sénégal : Violences et saccages, attaques contre les médias, arrestations d’activistes et des membres de l’opposition sont préoccupants, Article 19 condamne.

Des activistes ont été arrêtés, des journalistes et médias attaqués et au moins cinq personnes sont mortes depuis le début des contestations antigouvernementales qui ont rapidement dégénéré en émeutes et violences dans la capitale sénégalaise, Dakar, à Ziguinchor et dans d’autres régions.

Au moins une de ces personnes tuées par les forces de sécurité.

En réaction aux troubles, la Directrice de ARTICLE 19 Afrique de l’Ouest, Fatou Jagne, a déclaré :

« ARTICLE 19 est très préoccupé par l’usage excessif de la force par les forces de sécurité lors des manifestations, ainsi que par la violence et la destruction des biens publics et privés pendant les émeutes. La crise et la polarisation s’étant aggravées, les médias sont devenus l’une des principales victimes de la violence.

« Nous sommes profondément préoccupés par les attaques et les menaces dont font l’objet les organes de presse et les journalistes et demandons toutes les parties de respecter la liberté des médias et à s’abstenir de toute violence contre les médias.

Par ailleurs, la coupure du signal de deux médias, Walfadjiri et Sentv par le CNRA, l’organe de régulation de l’audiovisuel et les violentes attaques contre les médias privés Radio RFM, Télévision Futur Media (TFM), le site Dakaractu, et le journal gouvernemental, Le Soleil ainsi que les violences physiques entrainant des blessures sur quatre journalistes couvrant une manifestation, sont inacceptables et terrifiants.

Cibler les médias en période de crise politique n’est pas seulement dangereux pour la sécurité des journalistes, cela augmente également les tensions et le risque de préjudice ». C’est une menace réelle contre une presse libre et indépendante et pour l’accès à l’information. La démocratie ne peut pas fonctionner sans la pluralité des médias et la diversité d’opinions ».

Le (CNRA) a ordonné la coupure des signaux des deux médias après la diffusion en direct des confrontations.

L’internet a également été perturbé, et le site de cybersécurité NetBlocks a déclaré que les réseaux sociaux et les applications de messagerie étaient soumis à de sévères perturbations tout au long de la journée du vendredi 5 mars.

Les manifestations ont suivi l’arrestation de l’opposant Ousmane Sonko le 3 mars alors son cortege, accompagné de ses militants et des manifestants, se dirigait au tribunal pour y comparaître sur des allégations de viol. Il a été accusé de troubles à l’ordre public et de participation à une manifestation non autorisé et placé en détention provisoire.

Ses partisans ont insisté sur le fait que les accusations sont politiquement motivées et fausses et que le Président Macky Sall intensifie les efforts pour éliminer un rival avant l’élection présidentielle, qui doit avoir lieu en 2024. Le Gouvernement soutient qu’il s’agit d’une affaire de justice qui ne le concerne pas.

Depuis le début du mois, au moins 4 activistes et leaders des mouvements citoyens dont Guy-Marius Sagna sont détenus et accusés des infractions telles que menace à la sûreté de l’Etat, l’ordre public, appel à l’insurrection…

Face à cette escalade de violence et de tension, le Gouvernement doit prendre des mesures concrètes pour renforcer la sécurité des journalistes et protéger l’indépendance de la presse et l’accès du public à l’information, faire la lumière sur les circonstances de la mort des personnes, libérer les politiciens et activistes détenus.

ARTICLE 19 produira un rapport détaillé sur les atteintes aux médias et aux libertés d’expression et de manifester sous peu.

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