Senegalese singer arrested for criticising President Sall

2017-08-04 17:22
Senegalese President Macky Sall. (File, AFP)

Senegalese President Macky Sall. (File, AFP)

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Dakar - A popular Senegalese singer was arrested over "offensive" remarks widely shared online which attack President Macky Sall and the organisation of recent elections, police said on Friday.

Amy Colle Dieng was arrested on Thursday for "offending the head of state and broadcasting fake news," a police source told AFP.

Audio of her lashing out at the president has been creating a social media storm in recent days.

In the recording, she calls Sall a "sai sai", or "scoundrel" in the local Wolof language, who "operates in the shadows" to achieve his aims.

She is also heard saying that the president, elected in 2012, has done "nothing" for the country and "stole" a victory in recent legislative elections.

Dieng is also heard declaring her support for ex-president Abdoulaye Wade, who stood as an opposition candidate in last Sunday's legislative elections, and she criticises administrative errors that marred the vote.

Prosecutors instructed police to arrest the artist after becoming aware of the recording, Le Soleil newspaper reported, describing her diatribe as "disrespectful" and "offensive".

She remained in detention on Friday, an administrative source told AFP. Another source added that Dieng shared the comments with a WhatsApp group and had not expected them to be made public.

Dieng's case comes after four people were charged in June with "offending public morals" for distributing a fake image of Sall naked, also via WhatsApp.

Results from Sunday's election are due on Friday, with a landslide victory for Sall's ruling coalition expected.

Senegal is known for its largely peaceful democratic traditions and freedom of the press, though rights advocates hit out at the government over the WhatsApp image case.

Read more on:    macky sall  |  senegal  |  west africa

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