Senegal ALERT: Two media houses attacked

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The offices of 24 Heures Chrono and L’As, two privately-owned, Dakar-based newspapers, were on August 17, 2008 ransacked by a group of men driving vehicles bearing official Senegalese Government registration numbers.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)’s correspondent reported that the attackers drove into the premises of 24 Heures Chrono in a white Toyota L200 at about 20:30GMT. They forced their way into the office and where they destroyed computers and other equipment.

Abalye Dièye, a driver and production clerk of 24 Heures Chrono was also beaten and robbed of his mobile phone.

Fifteen minutes later, a vehicle of the same description stormed the office of L’As, attacked staff members with pepper spray and destroyed their computers.

Following this, a vehicle of the same type appeared at the office of Le Courrier newspaper at approximately 22:00GMT. However, the vehicle sped off after police were called in by the managing editor, Pape Amdou Gaye, who had received several anonymous calls warning him of a possible attack.

Although the motives behind the assaults remain unknown, it is believed the attack was prompted by recent articles carried by the newspapers on Transport Minister, Faraba Senghore.

These articles were critical of Minister Senghore’s department and his personal life. In response to these articles Senghore, had three days before the incident threatened to retaliate “by all means” against the journalists whom he claimed had been “attacking” him.

The Media Foundation for West Africa