Senegal: Rfm, L’Observateur and TFM attacked as protests over rape allegation escalate

EYEAFRICA TV: Dakar, SENEGAL:-Senegalese media outlets – Rfm, L’Observateur and TFM – have reportedly been attacked as the protest over the rape allegation against opposition leader Ousmane Sonko escalate.

“This Thursday, March 4, 2021, around 9 p.m., the Elimane Ndour building which houses the offices and technical rooms of the daily l’Observateur, the Radio Futurs Médias (RFM) and other services of the Futurs Médias Group (GFM) was attacked by violent, determined and visibly well-organized individuals,” the Director of Groupe Futurs Médias (GFM), Birane Ndour said in a statement on Friday.

“This morning, the Tfm premises in Mbacké and Mbour were also attacked,” he said.

“Behind the appearance of a political demonstration, the attackers ‘aim was undeniably to attack freedom of the press, freedom of expression and citizens’ right to information.”

Protests erupted across Senegal following the arrest of an opposition leader Ousmane Sonko on Wednesday.

Senegal’s government condemned the protests as a “flagrant violation” of the state of emergency put in place to tackle coronavirus.

Ousmane Sonko who faces a rape allegation, appeared in court on Friday accused of disrupting public order. He denies the allegations and his supporters say the accusations are politically motivated.

The government suspended two privately-owned TV channels, SenTV and WalfadriTV for 72 hours, accusing them of “irresponsible coverage” and “flagrant breaches” of regulations.

NetBlocks, an internet monitor said on Thursday that access to social media and messaging apps were restricted.

The United Nations’ special envoy for West Africa Mohamed Ibn Chambas has appealed for calm.

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