- Senegal opposition leader Ousmane Sonke looked in court on Friday accused of disrupting public order.
- He denied the allegations and his supporters express the accusations are politically motivated.
- Sonke’s arrest has prompted protests within the capital Dakar where some outlets and colleges.
Senegal opposition leader Ousmane Sonko was ordered held in custody at a court hearing on Friday, two days after his arrest sparked the country’s worst violence in years.
Burned-out autos littered some of Dakar’s streets and key buildings had been blanketed in security sooner than his hearing, following unrest in a rustic long deemed West Africa’s beacon of balance.
Hefty police deployments had been in map spherical the law courts, presidential palace and National Assembly within the coronary heart of the Senegalese capital.
“Sonko has been returned to custody over the subject of stressful public order,” attorney Etienne Ndione urged journalists.
Supporters of Sonko, a weak presidential candidate who is considered as a key challenger to President Macky Sall, had called for new protests to coincide with a hearing.
Clashes broke out on Wednesday between Sonko’s supporters and police as he made his intention to court to face rape accusations against him – allegations that he denies.
Sonko was then arrested on charges of stressful public order, a pattern that sparked offended protests within the capital and diverse cities.
The custody order issued on Friday, which relates particularly to the final public order case, expires on Sunday.
He was no longer charged on Friday within the rape case and returns to court on Monday for questioning over those accusations, his lawyers acknowledged.
Sonko is being focused “for attempted elimination of a political rival,” acknowledged Abdoulaye Gigantic, one other of his attorneys.
– Violence in south –
One individual died within the southern town of Bignona on Thursday, the police acknowledged, all the design thru clashes there.
A local legitimate in Yeumbeul within the Dakar suburbs acknowledged that a second individual there had died, and social media acknowledged the actual individual was a teenager.
Protesters attacked the locations of work of the government each day Le Soleil and RFM radio map, which belongs to a press community owned by singer and weak minister Youssou Ndour. Both media outlets are deemed pro-govt.
Retail outlets of a French supermarket chain had been also attacked and French colleges in Dakar had been closed on Friday.
– Standard firebrand –
Sonko, a 46-one year-weak religious Muslim who is leader of the opposition Pastef birthday party, is well-preferred by many young Senegalese on sage of his lively-tongued attacks on the elite, in particular President Sall.
He came in third to Sall within the 2019 elections.
Nonetheless his political future was with out note clouded final month when rape charges had been filed against him by an employee at a salon where, he acknowledged, he went to derive lend a hand massages.
He denies the accusations and accuses Sall of conspiring to sideline him from politics.
The government gradual Thursday hit out at “acts of violence, looting and destruction” of property and warned it could per chance presumably resolve “all indispensable measures to withhold public order.”
It also warned “obvious media” against pursuing what it called “tendentious” protection of occasions.
The regulatory authorities suspended two native television channels, Sen TV and Walf TV, for 72 hours, accusing them of relentlessly broadcasting photos of the unrest.
In an announcement, Amnesty International called on the Senegalese authorities “to immediately end arbitrary arrests of opponents and activists, respect freedom of silent meeting and freedom of expression.”
It also urged the authorities to “shed gentle on the presence of men armed with golf equipment subsequent to the security forces.”
Netblocks, an organisation that screens disruption to the Recordsdata superhighway, acknowledged social media and messaging applications, alongside with Fb, YouTube and WhatsApp, had been stricken by restrictions.
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