Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

"Senegal ALERT: Broadcasters attacked by Senegalese police," Media Foundation for West Africa, June 23, 2008.

[Stories like this one, and others at the Media Foundation for West Africa (among other places), might make a person wonder why Canadian human rights aristocrats--like Stephen Harper, Mark Steyn, and Ezra Levant--restrict their issues of choice to those that provide maximum public relations leverage. Did I just answer my own question?

Ironists will appreciate that Léopold Sédar Senghor, after whom the stadium where these journalists were beaten, was a poet and a creator of the négritude concept, which rejected French colonial racism and emphasized the importance of dialogue between cultures. He was also the first president of Senegal. There were real human rights heroes long before governments and their grinders ever thought about trying to catch the bandwagon. -jlt]

Two sports journalists were brutally beaten by Senegalese police at Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium, Dakar on June 21, 2008.

The journalists, Kara Thioune of West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR) and Babacar Kambel Diang a reporter for the private radio station Radio Futurs Médias (RFM), were punched, kicked and beaten with electric batons.

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) sources reported that the journalists were at the stadium to cover a post-match press briefing. Outraged by their presence, the policemen attacked, handcuffed and detained them for about half an hour, before taking them away to the hospital for medical attention.

The source said Thioune bled profusely.

Another journalist, Frank Sainworla escaped the attack.

Meanwhile, the journalist union, Union of Information and Social Communication Professionals (SYNPICS) and RFM intend to take legal action against the police for these unjust attacks.

The MFWA supports the SYNPICS and RFM proposed actions. We condemn the arbitrary use of force and call on the authorities to curtail the rising incidents of violence against journalists in Senegal.

Prof. Kwame Karikari
Executive Director
Tel: 233 21 24 24 70
Fax : 233 21 221084
Website :
Email :
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