22 August 2014

Senegal: Student Shot Dead, Others Injured and Arrested During University Protest in Senegal

Media Foundation for West Africa

On 14 August 2014, Bassirou Faye, a Senegalese student from the Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD), was shot dead by an unidentified policeman.

The incident happened as a result of a demonstration by some university students to demand payment of scholarship arrears for the 2013-2014 academic year. The police reportedly dispersed the demonstrators by firing tear gas. Some of the students fled to their halls of residence and started throwing stones through their windows.

Angered by the action of the students, the police reportedly stormed the building, broke down doors and ransacked the rooms. Faye, who according to reports was not part of the students who demonstrated, was in his room by then and tried to escape with his roommate. While they were leaving, however, a policeman shot Faye in the head. He died before his roommate could get help.

The police arrested about 27 of the students after the incident and detained them until their release on 18 August. The country's President Macky Sall is said to have gone to the Principal Hospital in Dakar - where the injured students were admitted - on 18 August.

Meanwhile the Senegalese authorities, including the Ministries of the Interior and Higher Education, say the Criminal Investigations Department has been tasked to conduct an investigation into the case to bring the perpetrators to book.

The MFWA urges the Senegalese police to respect the students' rights to demonstrate. We also urge students to act within the law whenever they chose to exercise their right to demonstrate.

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