Free the Mayor of Dakar
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Senegal has long been a haven of peace and one of the most stable countries in the world. A year ago, the current government, whose record of human rights violations has been growing daily, sent Mr. Khalifa Ababacar Sall, Mayor of Dakar, to prison on the pretext that he embezzled $3.4 million of public funds. Despite a year-long investigation, no evidence of this alleged embezzlement has been found. Furthermore, during this year, while he was in prison, Sall was elected as an MP for the current parliament.
The court's final decision to sentence Sall to 5 years in jail for something he didn't do indicates that the current president does not want Sall to run for the next year's presidential election. Most Senegalese people are convinced that Mr. Sall was sent to jail simply because he is a serious opponent to the current president. And this is why this decision is so dangerous.
Senegal has now become a danger zone that jihadist are trying to enter, largely from Mali. This unethical behavior by the Senegalese government towards Sall could be a trigger for the kind of civil unrest that could turn Senegal into a new Ivory Coast or Mali; these are countries where armed opportunistic forces are taking advantage of unrest to advance their own unsavoury agendas.
The long-time peaceful Senegalese political climate is now in jeopardy. Keeping Mr. Khalifa Sall in jail is not only deeply unjust, it is also a threat to peace and democracy.
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