Amnesty International Report 2014/15 - Senegal
|Publication Date||25 February 2015|
|Cite as||Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 2014/15 - Senegal, 25 February 2015, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/54f07da215.html [accessed 18 October 2017]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Republic of Senegal
Head of state: Macky Sall
Head of government: Mohammed Dionne (replaced Aminata Touré in July)
Police used excessive force to suppress demonstrations. Conditions in prison continued to be harsh. There was some progress in overcoming impunity for past human rights violations, although many cases remained unresolved. The long-running conflict in Casamance was less intense than in previous years.
In September 2013 the Minister of Justice committed to opening an official commission of inquiry into poor detention conditions in the Liberty 6 and Rebeuss prisons, but by the end of 2014 no progress had been made.
In March 2014, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review on Senegal. During the review process Amnesty International had raised concerns about excessive use of force by security forces to repress freedom of expression and assembly, torture and other ill-treatment, deaths in detention, and impunity for human rights violations, including some dating back 30 years. Senegal committed to protect the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly; and to ensure that its security forces maintain public order without resorting to excessive use of force. However, it rejected recommendations to ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, despite having committed to ratify it in a meeting with Amnesty International in December 2013. Senegal also rejected recommendations to amend national legislation to protect LGBTI people from discrimination, and claimed that there were no cases of enforced disappearance in Senegal despite repeated concerns raised by Amnesty International about the fate of dozens of disappeared Casamance people at the hands of government forces.
The corruption trial of Karim Wade, a former minister and son of former President Abdoulaye Wade, and other defendants, began in July. Karim Wade was charged with illicit acquisition of wealth and stood trial before the Court for the Repression of Illicit Acquisition of Wealth, which does not allow for appeals after the verdict.
Excessive use of force
In January, in Oulampane, Casamance, high school students demonstrated to call for more teachers. Military forces intervened using live ammunition, injuring four students. The Army Command condemned these actions by military forces and announced that there would be accountability, although no concrete steps were taken and no investigation was opened during the year.
Throughout August, students protested against delays in paying scholarships at Cheikh-Anta-Diop University in Dakar and there were repeated confrontations with security forces. Student Bassirou Faye died after being shot in the head by police during a demonstration. A police officer was arrested in October and charged with his murder.
In September a convicted prisoner was shot dead in Sinthiou Roudji, near the town of Kédougou. His sentence allowed him to work out of prison during the day and return to the prison facility at night. Upon failure to return, security forces were sent for him, and he was shot by a security officer, reportedly while trying to flee. The Ministry of Justice committed to opening an investigation, and the officer was remanded in custody.
Freedom of assembly
Authorities prosecuted demonstrators who participated in or spoke out during demonstrations organized by political parties and NGOs.
Rapper Malal Talla, a leader of the Y'en a marre (We have had enough) movement, was arrested and detained for four days in June for denouncing police racketeering at a public gathering. He was charged with insulting the police, before being released after a judge determined that the charges were unfounded.
Rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people
In February, police arrested four young men who had attacked five gay men in Rufisque, a town outside Dakar. Residents of the town marched in support of the accused, calling for their release.
The trial of police officers implicated in the death in custody of Dominique Lopy in 2007 was postponed from June to November 2014 at the request of the defendants' lawyers.
The trial of two gendarmerie commanders charged with killing demonstrators in two separate incidents in 2011 and 2012 was still pending. They were released from detention pending trial.
Former Chadian President Hissène Habré remained in custody awaiting trial before the Extraordinary African Chambers created by the AU in 2012 to try him in Senegal. On 30 June 2013 Hissène Habré was arrested, and was charged on 2 July 2013 with crimes against humanity, torture and war crimes committed in Chad between 1982 and 1990. In August the court rejected the Chadian government's request to be a civil party (partie civile) in the case. The court asked that Chad extradite certain key witnesses, but this request was refused. The court also asked the AU to intervene in the matter.
Internal armed conflict
The conflict between the army and the Democratic Forces of Casamance Movement (MFDC) became less intense, and one MFDC leader proclaimed a unilateral ceasefire in April.
Civilians continued to suffer from the impact of ongoing conflict, which rendered thousands unemployed or displaced from their villages. At least seven men were killed by landmines in August.