A demonstration in support of Senegalese investigative journalist Pape Ale Niang took place this Saturday, November 12, in front of the headquarters of Médiapart in the 11 arrondissement in the French capital. Senegalese from the diaspora from all over the world joined the demonstration to demand the journalist’s immediate release.
After many voices raised in Senegal, in the sub-region but also internationally, It is today around the Senegalese diaspora of France all political or apolitical color confused to demand the release of investigative journalist Pape Ale Niang. Intellectuals, magistrates, journalists and civil servants took part in the rally. After listening to the various speakers, a memorandum was read. The memorandum was deposited with the investigative press outlet Mediapart by the organizers, a symbolic place according to them: “We came to deposit the memorandum at Mediapart because this place is symbolic for any investigative journalist”.
Mediapart is a French news site created in 2008 by journalists François Bonnet, Gérard Desportes, Laurent Mauduit, Edwy Plenel, Marie-Hélène Smiéjan and Godefroy Beauvallet. Recognized for investigative journalism and having an editorial line oriented to the left, the site is available in French, English and Spanish. Held by a non-profit foundation, Mediapart plays an important role in the revelations in the Woerth-Bettencourt case in 2010, the Sarkozy-Gadhafi case in 2012, the Cahuzac case in 2012/2013 and the Benalla case in 2018/2019. Mediapart’s investigations led to several resignations, such as that of the Minister of Ecology François de Rugy or the Minister of Defense Michèle-Alliot-Marie.
As a reminder, Senegal’s investigative journalist Pape Alé, director of the Dakar Matin news website, was arrested on 6 November 2022 and imprisoned on 8 November. According to his lawyers, he is being sued for disclosure of information not made public by the competent authority likely to harm National Defence, Receiving administrative and military documents and disseminating false news that would bring public institutions into disrepute. This release of documents comes in the context of the case between the party leader Pastef Ousmane Sonko and Adji Sarr, a masseuse who accuses him of repeated rape and death threats, accusations that the mayor of Ziguinchor denounces and calling this case a plot.
In Dakar, the Coordination des Associations de la Presse (CAP) has already called for the journalist’s release. She also announced a series of actions to demand the release of their confreres. A protest march is already planned on 18 November in this direction. A joint editorial will be published Monday, November 14, 2022 in the various media of the national press «to remind national and international opinion that the monster is back».
Another action following this demonstration of the Senegalese of the diaspora of France, the establishment of a Collective for the liberation of Pope Alé Niang. The aim is to continue to denounce the journalist’s deprivation of his freedom, which they say is a “hindrance to press freedom and a democratic retreat”.