16 August 2017

Senegal: President's Cartoon - Senegalese Journalist Freed From Six Weeks' Detention

press release

A Senegalese journalist was released on August 11, 2017 after spending over a month in detention for sharing a cartoon of President Macky Sall on whatsApp.

Ouleye Mané, who works for Touba TV, was detained on June 30 alongside three others on charges of "publishing pictures which offend public morality." The photoshop image showed a naked body resting on President Sall's chest.

The incident has caused great furore in Senegal with opinions divided. Some say the cartoon is offensive and transgresses the limits of freedom of expression. Others say the authorities have overreacted.

Critics of the government point to the President's defense of free expression in the Charlie Hebdo case and accuse him of double standards for penalising a cartoon against himself.

For their part, la Convention des Jeunes Reporteurs du Senegal (CJRS), a reporters' guild and national partners of MFWA, take a dim view of the detention of the journalist and her three friends, (two women and a man).

"Cartoon is a form of expression for journalists. Although we do not encourage insults and any form of denigration of the image of the president, this is a matter of journalistic responsibility and not of legality," said Boubacar Boly, CJRS' Director of Communication.

"As president of the Republic he has chosen to be under the spotlight. We therefore appeal to him to display a spirit of tolerance, to dissociate himself from, and live above this melee," Boly appealed to the President.

The MFWA recognises the need for journalists to respect cultural sensitivities. Nonetheless, it is a matter of ethics which should not put journalists in prison. We urge the authorities in Senegal to drop the charges against Mane and the three others, and appeal to the media regulator to intervene to find an amicable settlement to the matter.


Why African Teams Fell Short At the World Cup - Again

At every World Cup tournament since 1986, at least one team from Africa has made it to the second round of the World Cup… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2017 Media Foundation for West Africa. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.