Thursday, October 20, 2011

Writing a letter & threatening protests = 2-5 years in jail

An emergency message for the embassy:

'This message is to inform U.S. citizens in Senegal that the outcome of the trial of an opposition party member which occurred today that could result in civil disorder and demonstrations in and around Dakar. On October 10th, 2011, Malick Noel Seck, leader of a minor political youth group, signed and delivered an open letter to the President of the Constitutional Court threatening him with violence if the Court validates President Wade’s candidacy for a third term in office. He was arrested and faced a maximum sentence of five years in jail. This morning the court in Dakar sentenced Mr. Seck to two years in prison. Mr. Seck’s supporters threatened demonstrations and previously called on their members to "burn" the country if the accused was sentenced to jail. Counter-protests may also be likely, which could further destabilize the situation. U.S. citizens are urged to use caution in the coming days should protests be called as a result of this decision and to avoid demonstrations should they come upon them.

While most demonstrations in Senegal are non-violent, the potential for violence exists, particularly in this period prior to the planned Presidential elections in February 2012.'

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