Senegal ALERT: Detained editor refused bail, charged with criminal offences

Sunday, September 7, 2008

El Malick Seck, editor-in-chief of 24 Heures Chrono, a Dakar-based daily newspaper who has been in detention, since his arrest on August 28, was on September 3, 2008 refused bail and moved to the country’s main prison.

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)’s correspondent reported that Seck has since been charged with five criminal offences.

The charges are: libelling President Abdoulaye Wade, disseminating wrong information, public slander, acts with intention to disrupt public order and to foment serious political troubles as well as concealment of administrative documents.

These charges are under the obnoxious Article 80 of the Criminal Code of Senegal that allows detentions, heavy fines and long prison terms of a minimum of three years and a maximum of five years. It also allows for a fine of FCFA 100,000 and FCFA 1.5 million (about US$233 and US$3489 dollars).
President Wade had in 2004 promised to repeal that law. 

These charges stemmed from an article on August 27, edition of the newspaper that linked President Wade and his son, Abdul Karim Wade to a case of money laundering.

The journalist is expected in court on September 5, and to be tried summarily.

Media Foundation for West Africa