Internet shutdown after Senegal election delay protests

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Mobile internet access has been temporarily cut in Senegal, the government announced on Monday, a day after hundreds protested President Macky Sall’s postponement of the presidential election.

It had to be done to halt the spread of “hateful and subversive messages relayed on social networks in a context of threats of disturbances to public order”, said Communication Minister Moussa Bocar Thiam.

It comes a day after Senegalese took a private television channel off air, accusing it of inciting violence in its coverage of the protests.

Amnesty International’s Senegal chapter has condemned the government’s actions and urged it “respect freedom of the press and the rights of the citizens to be informed”.

Lawmakers will on Monday debate a bill proposing to hold the presidential vote on 25 August and keep President Sall in power until his successor is installed. The election had originally been scheduled for 25 February.

More demonstrations are planned outside the parliament on Monday as #FreeSenegal trends on X (formerly Twitter).

Former Prime Minister and opposition candidate Aminata Touré, who was arrested during the Sunday protest, confirmed in an online post that she’s been released.

“Let us all mobilise to defend our democracy. No to the postponement of the presidential election,” she said.

Another opposition candidate Daouda Ndiaye said he was attacked by police. In a post online, he announced that he has been hospitalised but reiterated the call for an election on 25 February.

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