On Friday, June 25, the Senegalese national assembly approved two new laws in the Senegalese penal code which they say will help the country fight terrorism. However, many civil society movements and activists are protesting against these new laws, which they deem anti-democratic, and some have been arrested for their demonstrations.
While the new laws are being promoted as anti-terrorism laws, many citizens of the country see that these laws would confiscate their freedoms by criminalizing public protest and political speech. The laws would make leaders of civic and political movements responsible for “offenses committed” by their organizations and could require them to give the government access to their organizational data. The laws will also allow government surveillance of anyone suspected of terrorism without prior court approval.
Africans Rising finds that these laws are grave violations of the civil rights of the people living and working in Senegal. We support the Movement for the Defense of Democracy (M2D) and Senegalese civil society organizations fighting against this law. We call on Africans Rising communities to be in solidarity with the movements struggling in defence of democracy, justice, peace and political stability in Senegal. We ask that you help bring the spotlight to what is happening in Senegal by reaching out to Senegalese authorities and voicing your concerns about the laws, posting to your social media feeds about what is going on in the country, and organizing any other events or actions that can lend support and solidarity to the people on the ground working to defeat these laws in Senegal.
To contact Africans Rising with ways our movement can collaborate and amplify solidarity with movements against this law, please write to us at email@example.com.
For more information about organizing against the law in Senegal, contact M2D directly on Twitter at @m2d_senegal.