The new Press Code, adopted by Senegal's National Assembly in June, was vaguely worded and provided for custodial sentences for press offences. It allows for the Ministers of Interior and of Communication to ban foreign newspapers and periodicals, and provides for prison terms and fines for anyone defying the ban.
Article 192 of the legislation empowers administrative authorities to order the seizure of property used to publish or broadcast information, to suspend or stop a television or radio programme, and to provisionally close a media outlet on national security or territorial integrity grounds, among other things. It provides for prison sentences for offences including “offending” the head of state, defamation, insults, the transmission or distribution of images contrary to morality, and spreading false news. It criminalizes various techniques used by whistleblowers, for which prison terms would be imposed. Article 227 allows for the restriction of access to online content deemed to be “contrary to morality”, to “degrade honor” or to be “patently unlawful”, in certain cases.