By RFIPosted on 04-12-2019Modified on 04-12-2019 at 15:30
In Louga, in northwestern Senegal, the high court sentenced to two years in prison suspended Cheikhouna Gueye, the master of a "daara", a Koranic school, where students were found chained.
The Koranic teacher Cheikhouna Gueye was found guilty of ill-treatment but was released from the Louga prison where he was placed under a detention warrant. In court, the crowd of faithful and supporters of the Koranic master exulted at the announcement of the judgment.
A large police force had been deployed to prevent overflowing but no incidents were reported.
Three children in total, in one of the daaras of the village of Ndiagne, were concerned by these barbaric practices. They were chained to avoid running away.
Villagers from a neighboring hamlet gave the alert on 24 November. A child had escaped. These young people simply wanted to find their parents, who were sentenced to the same conditional sentence because they gave permission to the master to chase their children. The metalworker who made the chains is also sentenced to two years of suspended imprisonment.
Passionate debate in Senegal
These sentences were judged "very light " by the local Amnesty International official.
This case triggered passionate reactions in Senegal with radically opposed positions. First, there was outrage from NGOs, human rights organizations. How in Senegal, in 2019, can we still see such images? This is the question that was put to the State of Senegal by all these NGOs.
Then indignation gave way to a whole wave of support for the Koranic master. Chaining his "talibés" is a normal practice because all the Koranic masters have been there, say the associations of religious families. The issue of daaras therefore remains very sensitive in Senegal.
► Also read: Senegal: HRW denounces the exploitation of children in Koranic schools
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