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Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 08 Activist arbitrarily detained for Facebook posts Activist released on bail, still facing charges
FI 109/19-1
Aktiv seit 6. September 2019 | Noch 30 Tage Laufzeit

Activist released on bail, still facing charges

AI-Index: AFR 49/0990/2019

Senegalese activist Guy Marius Sagna was released on bail on 16 August, one month after he was first detained for posting comments on Facebook. Charged with «false alert of terrorism» under the Senegalese Criminal Code, if he is found guilty he faces a maximum of five years in prison. Amnesty International continues to call on the authorities to immediately drop all charges against Guy Marius Sagna as they relate solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom expression.


On 16 August, the investigating judged ordered the release on bail of activist Guy Marius Sagna.

After his release, Guy Marius Sagna said in a letter addressed to Amnesty International activists «If I was released of this illegal, arbitrary detention it is thanks to the tremendous mobilisation in Senegal, in Africa and elsewhere of thousands of women and men. Amnesty members mobilisation was key, notable and weighed enormously. It is true that the struggle continues because I am only released on bail. But an important battle has been won. Thank you to all members of Amnesty everywhere in the World.»

Guy Marius Sagna is a prominent activist in Senegal. He was the Coordinator of the National Coalition «No to Economic Partnership Agreements» in Senegal. The partnership agreements are between Senegal and the European Union.

He is a member of the movement «Le Front pour une Révolution Anti-impérialiste Populaire et Panafricaine» (Front for a popular anti-imperialist revolution and pan African, FRAAP- France Degage) and campaigns against what he calls «the neo-colonialist deals». He has regularly been arrested simply for exercising his rights to peaceful assembly and expression but released later without any charges.

In October 2016, the Senegalese National Assembly adopted amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, which could be used to stifle peaceful dissent, arguing that it was a necessary measure to combat terrorism and cyber-criminality. The amendments to the Criminal Code provide vague and overly broad definitions of terrorism-related offences, exposing activists to severe criminal sanctions.

Several artists and journalists have been arbitrarily arrested and detained over several days solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.


Take action

  • Write an appeal in your own words or use the model letter below.
  • Please take action before 18 October 2019.
  • Preferred language: French. You can also write in your own language.

Model letter

Your Excellency

While I welcome the news that Guy Marius Sagna was released on 16 August, I am concerned to hear that the charges against him are still pending.

As prominent activist in Senegal, he has regularly been detained simply for exercising his rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression. Most recently, on 30 August, Guy Marius Sagna was arrested, along with five others, after taking part in a peaceful protest on labour rights. He was released without charge a couple of hours later.

Guy Marius Sagna was arbitrarily arrested on 16 July in Dakar by the Gendarmerie’s Brigade Research section. He was first questioned about two of his Facebook posts on the lack of adequate medical facilities in Senegal, 59 years after independence, and the fact that many political leaders in Senegal have had to seek better medical care in Europe. Three days after being detained, Guy Marius Sagna was further questioned about a Facebook post on the FRAPP-France Degage page, an organisation that he is a member of, regarding the presence of the French army in Africa and a terror attack in the Sahel region.

On 19 July, he was charged with «spreading false news» and detained at the Central Prison of Rebeuss in Dakar. The prosecutor later changed the charge against Guy to «false alert of terrorism» on 5 August.

I urge you to ensure that:

  • All charges against Guy Marius Sagna are immediately dropped, as they stem solely from his peaceful exercise of his right to freedom expression;
  • The right to freedom of expression is fully respected, protected, promoted and fulfilled in Senegal.

Yours sincerely,

Appeals to

Minister of Justice
Mr Malick Sall
Avenue Jean JAURES, ex ambassade des Etats-Unis
BP 4030


Salutation: Your Excellency



Copies to

Ambassade de la République du Sénégal
Bâtiment H, 4ème étage
Route de Pré-Bois 20
1215 Genève 15 Aéroport

Fax: 022 740 07 11

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