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Charged with Dissimulation of Administrative and Military documents: PAN in Prison

Pape Alé Niang is sent to prison. He was charged with the offences of disclosing information not made public by the competent authority likely to harm National Defence, dissimulation of administrative and military documents. The other offence that is attributed to him is the dissemination of false news likely to bring discredit to public institutions.

Pape Alé Niang spent Wednesday night at the Rebeuss Correction Centre, he has been transfered yesterday to SebikotaneCorrection Facility. The journalist was imprisoned for the alleged offences of disclosing information not made public by the competent authority likely to harm national Defence, dissimulation of administrative and military documents. But he was also charged by the judge if the 2nd Cabinet, Mamadou Seck, for the dissemination of false news, likely to bring public institutions into disrepute.

By placing the journalist under a detention warrant, the investigating magistrate followed the public prosecutor’s indictment. « Pape Alé Niang, serene and straight in his boots, has just been charged with the offences of disclosing information not made public by the competent authority likely to harm national Defence, dissimulation of administrative and military documents, the dissemination of false news likely to bring public institutions into disrepute. (Articles 64, 370, 430 and 255 of the Penal Code). Having referred to article 139 of the Code of Criminal Procedure as reinforcement to require the judge to issue the warrant of committal, the first deputy prosecutor leaves little choice to Judge MamadouSeck, » says Lawyer Cheikh Koureyssi Ba.

The legal team is already engaged in the battle for the release of their client, who will first go through his hearing in the merits of the case since he was sent under investigation. To then work to obtain a dismissal, as they argued after Pape AléNiang was imprisoned. « We believe that the facts of which he is accused are ill founded, are not at all proven. This is indisputable. He was arrested, prosecuted on alleged broadcasts of radio messages of the police and firefighters, while these messages are in the public space before Pape Alé Niang spoke about them,  » supported Lawyer Moussa Sarr, coordinator of the PAN Lawyers’ Collective on the Rfm.

« From that moment on, we cannot blame him for using messages that are on social media networks to draw the consequences, to do his investigative journalistic work to enlighten public opinion. The State of Senegal must assume its responsibilities and stop this violation of press freedom. Without freedom of the press, there is no democracy. We must be aware of that. We must stop instrumentalising Justice to settle accounts, « spat Lawyer Moussa Sarr. Prison, he says, is not an answer to political problems, let alone democratic ones. He is of the opinion that the journalist’s place is not in prison.For the Secretary General of the National Union of Information and Communication Professionals (Synpics), « Organisations defending the rights of journalists have failed in prevention, in reaction ». Bamba Kassé believes that « it is time for us to remobilise and try to see how to remove this stain on the skin of Senegalese democracy ».

Arrested last Sunday, the director of the Dakar-Matin site was the subject of two declarations from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, he was sent to prison by the investigating judge of the 8th Cabinet.

By Aliou DIALLO

  • Translation by Ndey T. SOSSEH

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