Senegal: 4 Killed in Protests against Arresting a Prominent Opposition Figure

4 people were killed in the events that erupted in connection with the arrest of Ousmane Sonko, leader of the opposition party Patriots of Senegal for Ethics, Work and Fraternity (PASTEF).

4 people were killed in the events that erupted in connection with the arrest of Ousmane Sonko, leader of the opposition party Patriots of Senegal for Ethics, Work and Fraternity (PASTEF).

This came in statements made, Friday, by the Senegalese Interior Minister, Antoine Felix Diome, regarding the protests taking place in almost all parts of the country, especially the capital Dakar, to demand the release of Sonko.

Diome stated that 4 people lost their lives in the events that erupted after the arrest of Sonko, last Wednesday, March 3rd, expressing his condolences to the families of the victims.

The minister also pointed out that during the violent acts which continued throughout Friday, all over Senegal, public buildings and workplaces were attacked, in addition to a number of acts of theft, indicating that the government strongly condemned these events.

Diome described these events as “terrorist”, accusing the detained opposition figure Sonko of calling people for violence, and stressing that he will mobilize all the country’s capabilities to restore public order.

Activists on various social media platforms have shared photos and videos of the protests in different parts of the country, directing a torrent of criticism to the government.

The opposition Sonko, who lifted his parliamentary immunity last week in the parliament session, in preparation for his trial, was accompanied, last Wednesday, by a number of his supporters to testify in the court of Dakar.

However, the police blocked the motorcade before reaching the court, arguing that there were too many, and stated that only 4-5 cars would be allowed to pass and drive to the side of the court.

Sonko waited three hours in the same place and was not allowed to go to court, only to be arrested later on the pretext that he was “disturbing the peace of society.” After the detention order, many of Dakar’s main roads were closed due to traffic and other violent incidents which occurred between police and Sonko supporters.

Osman Sonko faces two charges (rape and death threat); his parliamentary immunity was waived last Friday in preparation for his trial.

Sonko was surrounded by controversy due to media reports stating that he was charged with assaulting a salon employee, but the political leader denied all allegations and said it was a political conspiracy set by the president.

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