Senegal: Gendarme Attacks Journalist for Taking Pictures of His Act of Aggression

press release

A gendarme has physically attacked a reporter of the Le Quotidien newspaper who was on duty at a court premises in Dakar, Senegal.

Mamadou Sakine, the reporter, was taking pictures of an act of violence by the gendarme against a woman outside of the Court of Appeal on September 3, 2018. The gendarme spotted the journalist taking the pictures and seized his phone. When Sakine protested against the seizure of his phone, the security officer gave him a head-butt.

The gendarme however returned the phone after an outcry of protests by other journalists present.

The journalist received treatment at a hospital and was issued a medical report attesting to the violence and the resulting trauma from the attack which left a 3-centimetre cut on his upper lip.

According to MFWA's correspondent in Senegal, Le Quotidien published a defiant article a day after the incident condemning the aggression against its reporter and vowing to lodge a criminal complaint against the security officer involved.

"We will not be intimidated or threatened by anyone. And since some of these [security] agents do not seem to have understood their role, Le Quotidien will not stop there; this morning, a complaint will be filed against this aggressor," the newspaper stated.

The MFWA condemns the attack on Sakine who was only carrying out his legitimate duty as a reporter. We urge the Management of Le Quotidien to lodge a criminal complaint against the assaulting gendarme and call on the authorities of the Gendarmerie Nationale to bring the erring officer to book.

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