RADDHO’s boss questioned over illegal weapons

Monday, July 16, 2007

Alioune Tine, The Executive Secretary of Senegal based African Human Rights Organisation (RADDHO), was on Wednesday arrested and questioned by police in Dakar for at least three hours before being released.

Mr. Tine was asked to provide answers on the dozen of rifles found in RADDHO’s main office toilets. The weapons were discovered by a team of Senegalese state security officers who were on a scouting operation prior to President Wade’s visit to the bereaved family of Maître Babacar Niang, a Senegalese political figure and friend to Wade, who died on Wednesday. The late Niang’s residence is located near RADDHO’s building. All houses within the vicinity of Maître Babacar Niang’s house and RADDHO’s office were also searched during the security personnels’ scouting operation.

Alioune Tine was asked to write a statement after which he was released. Asked what he was questioned about, Mr. Tine said: “Officially, I was held for illegal possession of weapons”.

He revealed that he was first taken to the Point E Police Station, just a stone throw from his office, but was later led to the Dieuppeul Police station where he was interrogated by a team of police commissionners.
However, RADDHO’s boss seemed not to be disturbed by the incident.

“The police simply counted the rifles before putting them under seal”, Mr. Tine revealed. Asked if the incident would not affect the credibility of his organisation, Alioune Tine replied that the rifles were old, useless and given several years ago to his organisation by the Senegalese army’s top command, then led by ex-Chief of Defense Staff, Gen. Pape Khalil Fall, as part of a national peace campaign during which the said rifles were symbolically burnt before the general public.

According to Alioune Tine, “Some of those rifles were burnt in Casamance in the presence of Father Augustin Diamacoune Senghor, who was then alive, as part of the peace process between the rebels and the State of Senegal”.

RADDHO’s boss further recalled that if Wednesday’s arrest was meant to implicate him, then the authorities have just wasted their time because the State of Senegal knows perfectly well from who and where to find illegally acquired weapons.

Author: Written by DO
Source: The Daily Observer Newspaper