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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Senegal - June 2023

Unrest and deaths after opposition politician convicted of ‘corrupting youth’

Prominent opposition politician Ousmane Sonko’s popularity has faced multiple criminal and civil trials in 2023. A criminal conviction could prevent his candidacy in the 2024 presidential elections. In the first proceeding, Sonko was convicted in May of defamation. In June, Sonko was acquitted of charges of rape and uttering death threats but convicted of ‘corrupting youth’ (meaning using his position of power to have sex with a person who is less than 21 years old) and sentenced to two years in prison. He has appealed the first conviction, but as the second trial was conducted in absentia, the verdict cannot be appealed. While Sonko was not immediately arrested, there was significant unrest when news of the conviction broke on 1 June. At least 15 people were killed in clashes between Sonko’s supporters and the police.

Sources:  L’Obs, National Public Radio, Mail and Guardian, American Broadcasting Company

Primary categories and factors
Rights 0 Rights  (0)
Civil Liberties
Freedom of Association and Assembly
Freedom of Expression
Rule of Law 0 Rule of Law  (0)
Personal Integrity and Security

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