Sédhiou – march of journalists for the release of Pape Ale Niang: press and civil society in sentinel mode of a democracy in peril

Several journalists from the private media accredited in the region of Sédhiou took part yesterday, Friday, November 18, in the afternoon, in the national march organized by the journalists to demand the unconditional release of their colleague Pape Alé Niang, imprisoned since on November 6th. Civil society came to their aid to intensify the synergy in their sentinel watch against the predators of press freedom in Senegal.

At no charge, Sédhiou’s press hastened the pace, yesterday Friday afternoon, to put pressure on the State of Senegal in order to obtain the unconditional release of investigative journalist Pape Alé Niang, imprisoned since on November 6th. From the Julescounda roundabout, this citizen and peaceful march faded to the Governance of Sédhiou, under the joint declaration reported here by the journalist and spokesperson of the day, Ibrahima Diallo.

“It is above all for us to mark time and show the State of Senegal that this is a real threat to press freedom and that we are not going to let it happen. Pape Alé Niang is an investigative journalist, therefore authorized to do excavation work to inform the populations fairly and truthfully. It is not his first and since the regime of Me Abdoulaye Wade, he released information deemed confidential and gave ample speaking time to Macky Sall who attacked the Wade regime. And then, it is now that it bothers”, he observes, not without demanding his release.

In a joint statement sent to all journalists’ associations in Senegal, the Coordination of Senegalese Press Associations (CAP) states that it has “demonstrated the grotesqueness of the ‘offences’ that served to cobble together an accusation riddled with inconsistencies and lies in an effort to neutralize a troublesome journalist.”

And the national coordination to continue “The Coordination of Press Associations of Senegal demands – once again – the immediate and unconditional release of Pape Alé Niang imprisoned in the normal exercise of his functions as a journalist. She reminds the government of Senegal that freedom of the press is neither negotiable nor to be haggled over. This freedom is therefore not intended to be administered by a State whose inclinations can be seen in presumed private affairs..


On behalf of civil society actors, Fossar Dabo, the coordinator of Citizen Vision and member of the Gathering of young leaders of Sédhiou, alerts and notes the following: “the most reliable barometer to measure the good health of democracy is freedom of expression and this freedom is exercised more by the press. And if this fourth power is threatened with the incarceration of journalists. We say no to these abuses” he warns.

At Governance, the Assistant to the Regional Executive in charge of Administrative Affairs received the memorandum and promised to transmit to whom it may concern. “I must say that freedom of expression and freedom of the press do exist here in Senegal. I acknowledge receipt of your memorandum and reassure you to transmit it to whom it may concern, indicated Modou Gueye.

Sédhiou’s press reaffirms its anchoring in the fundamentals that govern the exercise of this profession as well as its position as the last rampart of a freedom in danger.

Moussa DRAME

Sédhiou – march of journalists for the release of Pape Ale Niang: press and civil society in sentinel mode of a democracy in peril