Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2005 - Senegal

Continued harassment of ONDH members75

Mr. Boukounta Diallo, a lawyer and president of the National Organisation for Human Rights (Organisation nationale des droits de l'Homme – ONDH), along with several of his colleagues, were subjected to harassment for defending the rights and cause of Mr. Idrissa Seck, former Senegalese Prime Minister, detained in the Rebeuss prison compound in Dakar for "undermining State defence and security". Mr. Djiby Diallo, another of Mr. Seck's lawyers, was similarly accused of "illegally removing a document from prison"; 283 lawyers jointly decided to defend Mr. Seck's case.

Since the proceedings started in July 2005, the defence counsels have regularly been prevented from confidentially meeting with their client by administrative agents of the prison who refused to leave the room during consultations. Several lawyers further reported that the prison guards often carried out humiliating and degrading searches at the entrance of the compound. The defence counsels also stated that they were subjected to intimidations and pressures, in particular when the High Court Examining Commission gave them strict injunctions to limit witnesses' hearings to passive assistance.

[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website (www.fidh.org) was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

75. Idem.


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