Senegal: released prisoners were “arrested arbitrarily”, according to the prisoners’ collective

The Senegalese Minister of Justice confirms the release of 344 people since Thursday February 15, 2024. Measures intended to “


” the public space while the country is still waiting for a date for the presidential election initially scheduled for the 25th. FEBRUARY.

The collective of prisoners assures, contrary to the minister, that these people were political prisoners.

The entrance to Rebeuss prison in Dakar (illustrative image).

© Ndiassé Sambe / RFI

By: RFI Follow


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With our correspondent in Dakar,

Léa-Lisa Westerhoff

If 272 releases are still to follow in Dakar, Aissata Tall Sall affirms that these are in no case political releases of prisoners of conscience.

In total, the Minister of Justice, Aïssata Tall Sall, therefore speaks of a little more than 600 people who must be released in the coming days, all prosecuted for common crimes, according to her.

The representatives of the detainees estimate that there are more than 1,600 people incarcerated following the opposition demonstrations in


since 2021. And for Lamine Bara Diop,


Diop Taïf, coordinator of the detainee collective, there is no doubt, these arrests did indeed take place for political reasons to quell the opposition: “

We arrested them arbitrarily, everyone knows that.

For example, there are ordinary Senegalese people.



We sabotaged their future


Diop Taïf calls for the release of all political detainees as well as their compensation: “ 

We must compensate these people because we sabotaged their future, we arrested them and they were working.

Social strata were affected: there were masons going to work, there were carpenters, there were shoemakers, they were all arrested and imprisoned.

How did they manage to get by, to support their families?

All these people are demanding justice after liberation. 


The collective of prisoners therefore intends to sue the State and demand compensation for all those who spent months in preventive detention without having been tried or who were ultimately acquitted.

Read alsoRelease of prisoners in Senegal: files are assessed “case by case”


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