Senegal: Rapper arrested for criticising the president

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Senegal:
Rapper arrested for criticising the president

On 25 July 2011 Senegal’s police arrested the rapper Thiat to question him about his criticising of President Abdoulaye Wade. Dozens of his fans protested, and he was released after 24 hours in detention, on 26 July.

Thiat (real name: Oumar Cyrille Touré) is a member of Senegal’s popular rap group Keur Gui 2 Kaolack and is also a democracy activist. He was questioned over a speech he gave to thousands of supporters at a political rally in the capital, Dakar, at Obélisque Square on 23 July 2011 where he opposed President Abdoulaye Wade’s plan to stand for re-election for a third-term next year. He allegedly called the Senegalese president a liar and that he was too old to govern.

A Facebook page for the country’s youth-driven protest movement, Y’en a Marre, (‘We’re Fed Up’), urged supporters to gather in peaceful protest in front of a central courthouse in Dakar where the rapper was brought on 26 July after spending a night in prison. Thiat’s summons was also widely reported in local media, and young protesters filled the streets outside the courthouse.

The correspondent of Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in Senegal reported that Thiat was released on condition that he remained within the jurisdiction.

According to BBC the opposition said his arrest suggested growing intimidation ahead of the polls. The government recently banned political demonstrations in central Dakar.




Thiat

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Source

BBC News – 27 July 2011:

‘Senegal police free anti-Wade rapper Toure aka Thiat’

Similar incident in Lebanon 

Freemuse – 2 August 2011:

‘Brief arrest of singer Zeid Hamdan caused uproar’

Related information about Senegal 

Voice of America – 4 July 2011:

‘Senegal’s Youth Fed Up and Frustrated’

The World – 20 July 2011:

Amanda Fortier’s radio report from Senegal (mp3)

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