Senegalese journalist Pape Alé Niang was re-arrested, accused of breaching a bail condition.
Niang, director of the privately owned website Dakarmatin, was arrested in early November, criminally charged over a video report, and released on bail with various conditions on Wednesday, December 14.
On December 19, a judge ordered Niang’s be re-arrested and return to prison for allegedly violating one of his bail conditions, according to media reports and his lawyer, Ciré Clédor Ly, who spoke to CPJ on the phone. Ly told CPJ that authorities alleged the violation occurred when Niang discussed his ongoing prosecution during a Facebook Live broadcast on Saturday, December 17, which CPJ reviewed before it was taken offline.
Update: January 10, 2023
Detained Senegalese Journalist Pape Ale Niang Released for the Second Time
A judge in Dakar has ordered the release of prominent Senegalese journalist and government critic Pape Ale Niang, who was detained for the second time in two months.
On January 10, 2023, the judge ordered the release of the journalist subject to judicial control and other conditions, including prohibition from commenting on the substantive case in which he is being prosecuted on charges of false publication and undermining state security.
Niang, founder, and manager of the news website Dakar Matin, was arrested and detained on December 19, 2022, only five days after his release from the previous six weeks of detention. Niang was first arrested on November 6, 2022, and accused of publishing false and confidential military information.
The second arrest of the journalist followed his critical remarks about Senegal’s Inspector General of Police which prosecutors say violated the order not to comment on the case. However, one of the journalist’s lawyers, Moussa Sarr, told RFI that his client “did not mention the ongoing investigations,” insisting that “his outbursts had nothing to do with the current case.”
Though released, the journalist is yet to return home, as he is hospitalized, following a hunger strike that began on December 24 to protest his detention.
“He held out; it was very hard, but he was fighting for a principle, and he has won,” another of his lawyers, Cire Cledor Ly, told the press.
The media, civil society, and Senegal’s political opposition widely condemned Niang's detention. With financial support from the MFWA and moral support from our Board Chair, also based in Dakar, the professional media organisation, Coordination des Associations de Presse (CAP), set up the Comité pour la libération de Pape Ale Niang (Committee for the Release of Pape Niang). The Committee organised a series of demonstrations to condemn the journalist’s arrest and demand his freedom.