Rights bodies urge Senegal to respect law

2012-02-19 22:17
The increasingly tense atmosphere on the ground in Senegal has many concerned that there may be unrest if President Abdoulaye Wade is declared the winner of the vote. (Rebecca Blackwell, AP)

The increasingly tense atmosphere on the ground in Senegal has many concerned that there may be unrest if President Abdoulaye Wade is declared the winner of the vote. (Rebecca Blackwell, AP) (Rebecca Blackwell)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Dakar - International and local rights bodies urged Senegal Saturday to stop clamping down on opposition protests and free those arrested in the past week for demonstrating against President Abdoulaye Wade.

Attempted protests in Dakar in recent days have been banned and dispersed by police using tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon, as tension rises ahead of February 26 presidential elections in which Wade is seeking a third term.

"Senegalese authorities cannot contradict the Senegalese law," said Souhay Belhassen, president of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) in a statement.

"The authorities must come to their senses and allow political and public expression of opponent and citizens, or be seen as an authoritarian regime that is muzzling democracy."

Belhassen said the government justified a ban on protests by a decree published by the prefect of Dakar in July 2011 that barred protests in the centre of the capital.

The ban came shortly after riots last June that rocked the city following attempts by Wade to change the constitution to allow a first-round election victory with 25% of votes, which he later abandoned.

The 85-year-old leader's attempt to seek a third term in office has sparked the most recent protests, with the opposition saying Wade has served his two-term limit and his new bid is unconstitutional.

The FIDH, which released a statement with several local human rights organisations, said the ban on protests was illegal because the electoral code allows candidates to "freely organise meetings and protests" if they gave authorities 24 hour notice.

"On the eve of such an important date for Senegal, the country's highest authorities must act responsibly and calmly, allowing for the free expression of democracy as required by law," read the statement.

The rights bodies said Wade's latest term in office was "marked by regressions in human rights," in reference to the proposed constitutional change, along with violations of civil liberties and judicial independence.

- SAPA
Read more on:    abdoulaye wade  |  senegal  |  senegal elections  |  west africa
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Camping gear!

We’ve got all your camping must have’s right here at mind blowing low prices. Check them out now!

Herbex – buy 3 & get 1 free!

Fat burn packs, appetite control chewies, stretch mark cream and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

30% off Jinger Jack handbags

Spice up your wardrobe and save 30% on stylish Jinger Jack handbags. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 books & pay for 2

The cheapest of the 3 books will be free. Offer valid while stocks last. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

Deal of the week!

Hisense 40” Full HD LED Television now R3999. Offer valid while stocks last. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Mercury has moved into Libra which adds a more social energy to the way you can communicate and connect things. Today is about...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.