Charges against six journalists dropped

Update: JANUARY 10, 2006
Original Alert: October 17, 2005

Babacar Touré, Sud group
Abdoulaye Ndiaga Sylla, Sud-Quotidien
Madior Fall, Sud-Quotidien
Oumar Diouf Fall, Sud FM
Ndeye Fatou Sy, Sud FM
Ibrahima Gassama, Sud FM


On January 6, a state prosecutor dropped charges against six journalists working for the independent Sud media group. The journalists were charged with acting against state security after the group’s radio station, Sud FM, broadcast an interview in October with a prominent rebel leader, Salif Sadio. The interview with Sadio was also printed in the Sud group’s newspaper, Sud-Quotidien.

Sadio is one of the most radical members of the MFDC (Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance), which has fought for more than 20 years for a separate state in the southern Casamance region of Senegal. Low-level violence continues in the area, despite a peace accord in late 2004.

After the interview aired, authorities closed down Sud FM for a day, banned that day’s issue of Sud-Quotidien, and briefly detained Sud staff members in the capital, Dakar, and in Ziguinchor, the capital of Casamance. The journalists who were charged were: Touré, president and general manager of the Sud group; Sylla, publication director of Sud-Quotidien; Madior Fall, news director at Sud-Quotidien; Oumar Diouf Fall, director of Sud FM; Sy, news editor at Sud FM; and Gassama, head of the Sud FM bureau in Ziguinchor, who conducted the Sadio interview.

During the same January 6 court hearing, Sadio was sentenced in absentia to five years in prison for threatening state security, according to the independent daily Walfadjri. There is an outstanding warrant for his arrest, the newspaper reported.

For more information on this case, see CPJ’s alert: