A host of professional media organizations have issued a joint statement, demanding an investigation into the violence witnessed in the eastern town of Tambacounda. in which one man died on Monday.
A 30-year-old man was stabbed to death in election campaign violence in the area on Monday, 11 February 2019.
“Given the seriousness of the events, we demand the public prosecutor to open an investigation as soon as possible so that the act is punished accordingly. We reserve the right to file a complaint if the public prosecutor fails to refer the case to himself”, the professional media organizations said in the statement on Tuesday, 12 February 2019.
The National Union of Information and Communication Professionals of Senegal (SYNPICS), the Convention of Young Reporters of Senegal (CJRS), the Council of Presenters and Press Editors of Senegal (CDEPS), the National Union of Photojournalists of Senegal (UNPJS), the Association of Publishers and Professionals of Online Press (CALL) and Reporters Without Borders signed the joint statement.
In it, the media professionals, “strongly condemn the targeted attack of the minibus transporting journalists” who were covering the campaign of the one of the challengers of the incumbent president.”
Clashes between supporters of the Unity and Rally (PUR) party and those of the ruling Coalition “Benno Bokk Yakaar” (United in Hope) in Tambacounda resulted in the deaths of three people and vehicles burnt down.
For media professionals, “this attack is a reminder, if need be, that the safety of journalists during this election campaign must be a priority, as well as that of candidates, so that the press can fulfill its mission of public service”.
The various media organizations therefore ask the ministry of the Home Affairs “to make, without delay, all arrangements required to ensure the safety of buses transporting journalists deployed to cover the campaign of the five candidates”.