CPJ joined Reporters Without Borders and 76 press freedom organizations and journalists on Friday, January 6, in calling on Senegalese authorities to drop the charges against and immediately release journalist Pape Alé Niang, who is on a protracted hunger strike deteriorating his health. Niang was refused provisional release this week by a judge, his lawyer Cire Cledor Ly told CPJ.
The joint letter expressed concern about the decline in press freedom that has threatened Senegal’s democratic credentials in West Africa and urged the government to amend the Press Code to decriminalize press offenses and enact a law granting access to information.
Niang was arrested on November 6, 2022, and faces five years under anti-state and false news charges. He is why Senegal appeared on CPJ’s 2022 annual prison census of jailed journalists, which was only the second time Senegal appeared on the census in the 30 years since it began in 1992.
Mary Lawlor, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders, called for Niang’s immediate release and access to medical care on January 3.
Read the full joint letter here.