Dakar, January 10, 2023 — In response to news reports that Pape Alé Niang, director of the privately owned Senegalese news website Dakarmatin, was released Tuesday on bail under the condition that he refrains from traveling or speaking about his case, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement calling for those restrictions to be dropped:
“The continued legal harassment of journalist Pape Alé Niang showcases the lengths Senegalese authorities are willing to go to intimidate the press and only further entrenches concerns over the country’s slide from democratic governance,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator, in New York. “Barring Niang from speaking about his case and restricting his movement as conditions for his release lay bare authorities’ intentions to constrain the press. All charges and restrictions on his freedom should be dropped at once.”
As part of his bail restrictions, authorities seized Niang’s passport and barred him from traveling internationally or speaking publicly about his case, the journalist’s lawyer, Ciré Clédor Ly, told CPJ by phone.
Senegalese police arrested Niang in November 2022 and charged him over a video report published by Dakarmatin; he was released in mid-December on bail with the same conditions, and then days later police arrested him again for allegedly breaching those conditions.
In early January, Niang began a hunger strike to protest his detention which deteriorated his health. On January 6, CPJ joined 77 journalists and press freedom advocates in a joint letter calling Senegalese authorities to drop the charges against Niang and release him immediately.