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SENEGAL – Freedom of opinion in all circumstances!

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While the country has just gone through an unprecedented socio-political crisis caused by the arrest of Deputy Ousmane Sonko and physical or verbal violence, has had to reach a climax, Senegalese intellectuals from the continent and the diaspora expressed their position through a Manifesto entitled “Freedom of opinion in all circumstances!”. The aim of the signatories is to defend the freedom of opinion that is so precious to all Senegalese citizens. They say no one should be intimidated, persecuted or threatened for their point of view. Being a Republican/Democrat/Patriot/Citizen also means being able to be open-minded and go above and beyond to foster constructive debate in all circumstances.” They wrote. The full Manifesto below:

The regimes that have come and gone in the management of our country have in common been intimidating. In addition, the interests of somesome have far too often prevailed over the imperative need to privilege what is called the general interest and can be defined as the ability of individuals to transcend their membership and interests in order to exercise the supreme freedom to form together a political society.

These various regimes have, on many occasions, certainly to different degrees, put their immediate interests, including those of their relatives and allies, above what the republican ethic recommends.
They all, without exception, caporalized public television and radio and turned them into organs of government propaganda. They threatened and closed down the media, not to mention using so-called legitimate violence to repress protesters and embalm opponents. Any Senegalese, regardless of their political stripe, can testify to this socio-historical state of affairs.

Although, fortunately, we have never experienced a coup d’état, and while moments of peace have largely dominated moments of extreme tension, verbal and physical violence has unfortunately too often accompanied the Senegalese political game. Security forces and/or private militias have martyred individuals and ransacked public and private property, diverse and varied. On the other hand, some media have become experts in insult and slander, while others have simply been ransacked. Pseudo-sentinels, e-combatants or «automatic answering machines» lyncheurs of thought or opinion regularly flooded the forums of discussion to defend the supporters of the various regimes or leaders of the opposition.

In spite of everything, we can testify to the freedom that has always been given to everyone to criticize the groups and individuals of any camp without being systematically subjected to a shower of insanity, threats or physical violence that could lead to the burning of his home.

The great novelty today is the systematization of the risk of verbal and physical violence on any divergent opinion. Social networks have become a place where this unique thought reigns. No divergent opinion is no longer accepted. As Senegal has always been a country of dialogue, debate of ideas and intellectual turmoil, we would lose much if the contradictory debate in the public space (Fora, Télévisions, Radios and Social Networks) became almost impossible, for fear of reprisals, in any form whatsoever.
The activists and supporters of the opposing camps can discuss, with supporting arguments, without going into the unacceptable. As much as we will fight by all legitimate and legal means against the excesses of the State and its supporters, as much as we cannot be silent out of fear of reprisals from individuals who consider that they hold the absolute truth and that any divergence from their understanding and conviction would resemble contempt. When we get to the point where journalists and intellectuals are systematically insulted and threatened for having simply given a different opinion than others, we lose what, among other things, has always made this country unique: cherish reflection, analysis and debate.

It is therefore more than imperative that we preserve, without having to pay the price, the priceless public good that is freedom of opinion. The democratic public space is a space of contradictions and not unanimity. If we do not hesitate to strongly criticize the actions and failures of the regime in power, there can be no question of being encircled in a corset of unique thought, under penalty of insults, mockery and threats. To be a Republican/Democrat/Patriot/Citizen is also to be able to show a spirit of openness and surpass to promote constructive debate in all circumstances. Respect for the plurality of free and responsible expressions is a sine qua non condition for the safeguarding of our common will to live together in a peaceful and respected Senegal.

SIGNATORIES

1- Abdou Khadre LO, Regulatory & ICT Consultant.
2- Omar GUEYE, Pharmacist, Canada
3- Cheikh Oumar SY, Former Deputy, President OSIDEA
4- Birahim SECK, Forum Civil
5- Bamba KASSE, SYNPICS
6- Élimane Haby KANE, President LEGS Africa
7- Mame Adama GUEYE, Lawyer
8- Serigne DIAGNE, Director of Dakaractu
9- Mamadou Awa NDIAYE, 7TV
10- Alassane Samba DIOP, Emedia Invest
11- Mamoudou Ibra KANE, Emedia Invest
12- Bouba Ndour, TFM
13- Aminatou SAR, NGO Director
14- Moctar FALL, Independent personality of civil society
15- Ameth LO, IT Consultant, Canada
16- Oumar NDAO, CEO African Payment Gateway
17- Mbaye Seck DIOP, IT specialist, Chairman / Deputy CEO, African Payment Gateway
18- Momar MBENGUE, Legal Officer
19- Cheikh GUEYE, Geographer, Unitary Framework of Islam in Senegal (CUDIS)
20- Seydi GASSAMA, Human Rights Defender / Senegal
21- Moustapha KEBE, Banker, USA
22- Babacar FALL, RFM
23- Khaita SYLLA, Independent personality of civil society
24- Bakary SAMB, Director of Timbuktu Institute
25- Ousmane GUEYE, Surgeon
26- Seydi Diamil NIANE, IFAN, UCAD
27- Cheikh Abdou Lahad THIAW, Teacher-Researcher, UCAD
28- Elene TINE, Consultant in social development
29- Souleymane NIANG, Futurs Media Group
30- Moussa AW, Lawyer
31- El Hadji Gorgui Wade NDOYE, Journalist, Founder of Continent Premier, Switzerland
32- Maimouna Ndour FAYE, Director 7TV
33- Mamadou Jean-Charles TALL, Independent personality of civil society
34- Boubacar SIGNATE, Emergency doctor
35- Babacar GUEYE, Professor of Law, UCAD, President COSCE
36- Oumar El Foutiyou BA, Writer
37- Mamadou DRAME, Teacher Researcher, UCAD
38- Ken BUGUL, Writer
39- Alassane DIOP, Teacher-Researcher, UVS
40- Ahmed Karim CISSE, Executive Secretary CSF
41- Diaka NDIAYE, Journalist-producer, Belgium
42- Pape Djiby BA, Founding Leading Artist Switzerland Africa, Switzerland
43- Alune WADE, Artist-Musician, France
44- Fanta SOUNDOULOU, Artist-Musician, Spain
45- Babacar DIOUF, Biologist, USA
46- Pa Assane SECK, SenTV Journalist
47- Elhadji Alioune Diouf, Commissioner for Economic Investigations
48- Pathé DIENG, Teacher-Researcher, University of Lyon, France
49- Moussa SARR, Lawyer
50- Sadikh NIASS, RADDHO
51- Souvasin DIOUF, Professor of medicine
52- Jean-François DIENE, Doctor
53- Rokhaya NDIAYE, Expert in Human Capital Development
54- Boucounta DIALLO, Lawyer
55- Falilou DIOUF, Consulting Auditor
56- Maurice Soudieck DIONE, Teacher Researcher, UGB
57- Denis Ndour, LSDH
58- Alioune TINE, Afrikajom Center
59- Abdou Karim DIARRA, Journalist
60- Elhadji Oumar DIOP, FormEduC / CRPH Handicap Coordinator
61- Maimouna Isabelle DIENG, Executive Director of the platform of non-state actors
62- Alassane SECK, Executive Secretary, LSDH
63- Rokhiatou GASSAMA, Independent personality of civil society
64- Karfa Sira DIALLO, Founder-Director of the International Association for Memories and Sharing
65- Fatu Jagne SENGHOR, Jurist
66- Safietou DIOP, Siggil Jigeen Network
67- Malick DIOP, Platform of non-state actors
68- Assane DIAGNE, You Of The World / Senegal
69- Momar SECK, Visual artist, Switzerland
70- Samba FALL, Engineer
71- Makane Moise MBENGUE, Professor University of Geneva / Sciences Po Paris
72- El Hadji DIALLO, IT specialist, Switzerland
73- Hawa BA, Sociologist
74- Fatimata DIALLO, Writer
75- Abdourahmane DIOUF, Jurist, former CIS Executive Director
76- Mamoudou WONE, Director of Publications Survey
77- Pierre-Edouard FAYE, Journalist, Walfadjri
78- Ibrahima Lissa FAYE, President Association of Online Press Professionals (APPEL)
79- Mabousso THIAM, Independent personality of civil society
80- Houreye THIAM, Journalist / Ris / Platform of Women for Peace
81- Oumy Régina SAMBOU, Journalist and communications consultant
82- Bijou BOB, Journalist
83- Khadim Bamba DIAGNE, Economist / Writer
84- Moustapha Mbengue, Teacher-Researcher, EBAD, UCAD
85- Fatimata Diallo BA, Professor of letters, Writer
86- Babacar Ndiaye Amdy DIOUF, Dental surgeon
87- Kémo TOURE Jr, Central engineer, Founder of Wutiko
88- Mamadou Demba NDOUR, Obstetrician-gynecologist
89- Mamadou Mansour DIOUF, Anesthesiologist, Bordeaux, France
90- Khadim NGOM, Cardiologist, Bordeaux, France
91- Hamidou ANNE, Senior civil servant, Writer
92- Fanta DIALLO, Sociologist
93- Makhan DANFAKHA, Doctor
94- Corinne TCHANIA, Doctor
95- Cheikh Mbacké LO, Full Professor of Universities, Agrégé de santé publique
96- Djiby NDIAYE, Company Director
97- Moustapha THIAM, Gynecologist
98- Rose SAMB, Journalist and Entrepreneur
99- Pape SENE, Journalist
100- Racine Assane DEMBA, Communication strategy advisor
101- Abdoulaye BARRY, Journalist, RTS
102- Abdou khadre DIOP, Lecturer-Researcher, Public Law, UVS
103- Mouhamadou Mansour DIA, Teacher-Researcher, Sociology, UVS
104- Momar Sylla DIENG, Teacher-Researcher, Economics, UVS
105- Hady BA, Teacher-Researcher, UCAD
106- Muhammad BA, Teacher-C

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107- Souleymane Astou DIAGNE, Economist, UADB, Writer
108- Amadou KANE, entrepreneur
109- Cheikh Oumar KANE, Financial
110- Ibrahima DIA, Sociologist, Consultant
111- Bada LEYE, Trader
112- Thierno Souleymane Diop NIANG, Writer- Researcher in International Relations
113- Mame-Penda BA, Teacher-Researcher in political science, UGB
114- Ibrahima HATHIE, Economist
115- Serigne Momar SARR, Teacher-Researcher
116- Diatou Cissé BADIANE, Journalist
117- Mamadou Lamine BA, Industrial Economist, MEETINAFRIKA
118- Magueye KASSÉ, Full Professor of the Universities
119- Mamadou LY, Editor Rp221 .com
120- Assane THIAM, Teacher-Educator
121- Benoit SENE, Teacher in philosophy
122- Oumar DIOP, Teacher-Researcher in mathematics, UVS
123- Mamadou NGUER, Teacher-Researcher, UVS
124- Mouhamadou BA, Teacher-Researcher, UCAD
125- Sara NDIAYE, Teacher-Researcher, Sociology, UGB
126- El Hadji Malick DIA, Entrepreneur
127- Zoubida FALL, Author
128- Aïssatou DIAMANKA-BESLAND, Journalist, Writer
129- Abdou DIOUF, United Nations official
130- Abdou Ndukur NDAO, Anthropologist
131- Amadou Moctar aka Bouya NDOYE, Artist Manager
132- Awa DIACK, Entrepreneur
133- Fary NDAO, Geological engineer
134- Aida DIOP, Writer
135- Abdoulaye DIALLO, The Shepherd of Ngor Island
136- Aboubacar Sadikh NDIAYE, Expert in Digital Strategy
137- Fatou Sow SARR, Sociologist, IFAN
138- Boubacar DIALLO, Economic Intelligence Specialist
139- Sidy Moctar CISSE, Consultant
140- Abdourahmane NDIAYE, Teacher-Researcher, University Bordeaux-Montaigne
141- Birahim TOURE, Journalist

       

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