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REPUBLIC OF SENEGAL:
ACTIVIST ARBITRARILY DETAINED FOR FACEBOOK POSTS

Update info:
23 Aug 2019
Country:
REPUBLIC OF SENEGAL
Subject:
Guy Marius Sagna (he/him/his)
Period:
17 Oct 2019
Distribution date:
23 Aug 2019
UA No:
109/2019

Senegalese activist Guy Marius Sagna was charged with ‘false alert of terrorism’ on 5 August. He was arbitrarily arrested on 16 July in Dakar. He was first questioned over his two Facebook posts about the lack of adequate medical facilities in Senegal, 59 years after independence and then for a publication on a Facebook Page about the presence of French army in Africa. He is detained at the Central prison of Rebeuss in Dakar.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Guy Marius Sagna is a prominent activist in Senegal. He was the Coordinator of the National Coalition "No to Economic Partnership Agreements" in Senegal. The partnership agreements are between Senegal and the European Union.

As an activist, he has been campaigning against what he calls ‘’ the neo-colonialist deals’’ and is member of ‘’ FRAPP-France Degage’’. He has regularly been arrested simply for exercising his right to peaceful assembly and expression but released later without any charges.

In October 2016, the Senegalese National Assembly adopted amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, which could be used to stifle peaceful dissent, arguing that it was a necessary measure to combat terrorism and cyber-criminality. The amendments to the Criminal Code provide vague and overly broad definitions of terrorism-related offences, exposing activists to severe criminal sanctions.

Several artists and journalists have been arbitrarily arrested and detained over several days solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

PREFERRED LANGUAGE TO ADDRESS TARGET: [FRENCH]
You can also write in your own language.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE UNTIL: [17 SEPTEMBER 2019]
Please check with the Amnesty office in your country if you wish to send appeals after the deadline.

NAME AND PREFFERED PRONOUN: Guy Marius Sagna (he/him/his)

Take action

WRITE AN APPEAL IN YOUR OWN WORDS OR USE THIS MODEL LETTER

Minister of Justice
Me Malick Sall

Avenue Jean JAURES, ex ambassade des Etats unis
BP 4030
Dakar, Sénégal
Email: m_sall2002@yahoo.fr

Your Excellency,

I am concerned about the arbitrary arrest and detention of activist Guy Marius Sagna.

Guy Marius Sagna is a member of the movement “Le Front pour une Révolution Anti-impérialiste Populaire et Panafricaine’’ (Front for a popular anti-imperialist revolution and pan African, FRAAP- France Degage).

He was arbitrarily arrested on 16 July in Dakar by the Gendarmie’s Brigade Research section. He was first questioned over his two Facebook posts about the lack of adequate medical facilities in Senegal, 59 years after independence, and the fact that many political leaders in Senegal have had to seek better medical care in Europe. He was detained without being notified of any charges. Three days after being detained, Guy Marius Sagna was questioned over a post on the FRAAP Facebook Page about the presence of the French army in Africa and a terrorist attack in the Sahel region. According to him and his lawyer, he did not write the Facebook post and he is not the coordinator of FRAAP- France Degage.

On 19 July, he was charged with ‘’ spreading false news’’ and detained at the Central Prison of Rebeuss in Dakar. The prosecutor later changed the charge against Guy to ‘‘false alert of terrorism” on 5 August.

I urge you to ensure that:

  • Guy Marius Sagna is immediately and unconditionally released as he has been detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom expression;
  • The right to freedom of expression is fully respected, protected, promoted and fulfilled in Senegal;
  • While in detention Guy Marius Sagna is not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment and that he is allowed access to his lawyer and family members.

Yours sincerely,