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Press briefing notes Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Senegal: Concern around suspended election

13 February 2024

Senegalese demonstrators clash with riot police as they protest against the postponement of the Feb. 25 presidential election, in Dakar, Senegal February 9, 2024. © REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

From

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Liz Throssell

Location

Geneva

We are deeply concerned about the tense situation in Senegal following suspension of the presidential election slated for 25 February.

Following reports of unnecessary and disproportionate use of force against protesters and restrictions on civic space, we call on the authorities to ensure that they uphold Senegal’s long-held tradition of democracy and respect for human rights.

At least three young men were killed during protests and at least 266 people have reportedly been arrested across the country, including journalists.

Investigations into the killings must be prompt, thorough, and independently conducted, and those found responsible must be held to account. The authorities should also ensure due process for individuals arrested during the protests.

Amid rising tensions and reports of planned further protests, it is crucial that the authorities unequivocally order the security forces to respect and ensure human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

We also urge all actors to refrain from resorting to violence.

Given the challenges and concerns related to the circumstances surrounding the postponement of the election, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk calls on the Government to ensure that the proposed national dialogue be as broad-based as possible and ensure genuine participation of opposition groups, women, youth and marginalized groups.

For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva
Ravina Shamdasani + 41 22 917 9169 / [email protected] or 
Liz Throssell + 41 22 917 9296 / [email protected] or 
Jeremy Laurence +41 22 917 9383 / [email protected] or 

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