Opposition leader arrested in Senegal

Lazy eyes listen


The public prosecutor’s office reported that Senegalese opposition lawmaker Ousmane Sonko was arrested at his house in Dakar on Friday. Sonko’s prior incarceration and prosecution provoked deadly rioting and protests.

The prosecution claimed in a statement published by public broadcaster RTS that the 49-year-old snatched a phone from a female police officer whose car broke down in front of his residence in the capital and then “immediately sent a subversive message” to his fans on social media.

“As a result, I have directed Dakar police headquarters to launch investigations into various types of offenses and crimes as soon as possible,” the statement said.

Several of Sonko’s associates, including his director of protocol, had already reported on his imprisonment. Before his arrest, Sonko tweeted a photo of uniformed police officers he claimed were stationed outside his home and filming him. He claimed he “snatched the phone” and demanded that they “unlock it and delete the photos they took, which they refused to do.”

Sonko was found guilty of sexually abusing a massage parlor employee on June 1 and sentenced to two years in jail. He denied any misconduct and said the claims were politically motivated. Despite the punishment, the politician has not been imprisoned.

Sonko’s PASTEF party nominated him to compete in the February 2024 presidential election, despite the fact that his criminal conviction disqualifies him.

His original arrest in 2021 sparked several days of riots and fights with police, resulting in the deaths of 12 people. Last month’s guilty verdict also sparked riots, killing nine people.