At least six journalists working for different media outlets received death threats from unidentified persons through text messages and social media platforms, following their reporting on an alleged rape case involving a senior political figure. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate in Senegal, the Syndicat des Professionnels de l’Information et de la Communications du Senegal (SYNPICS) in condemning these acts of intimidation against journalists.
Journalists Cheikh Omar Ndaw, Daouda Thiam, Yakham Mbaye, Zeynab Sankhare, Mame Maty Fall and Maimouna Ndour Faye said that they were the targets of verbal attacks and received death threats on their social media accounts in relation to their reporting on an alleged rape involving a political leader.
“These attempts at obstructing Freedom of Press are UNACCEPTABLE in a Republic like Senegal! On behalf of what, journalists doing their jobs should suffer the ire of Senegalese citizens going so far as to deny them the right to live?”, SYNPICS reacted on its social media accounts.
The Senegalese union has called on its members not to underestimate these threats and to report them publicly and file formal complaints to the authorities. SYNPICS also called on affected journalists to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org for support on potential court proceedings and called on political leaders to educate their activists on the concepts of freedom of the press and democracy.
The IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “The IFJ is seriously concerned about the waves of death threats against Senegalese journalists in the exercise of their duties. Such threats undermine the fundamental right to freedom of information which is guaranteed by the Senegalese Constitution. We urge the authorities to take this issue seriously and guarantee safety to threatened journalists.”