Read Time: 6 minutes

Serigne Diop, University Professor, former Minister of Justice of Senegal and 141 signatories call for the release of Mr Ousmane Sonko and the preservation of democracy and the rule of law in Senegal.


Since 28 July 2023, Mr Ousmane SONKO, President of the African Patriots of Senegal for Work, Ethics and Fraternity (PASTEF) party, has been in detention.

The reasons for his arrest and imprisonment have evolved over time. He was initially charged with “theft of a mobile phone”, followed by other very serious charges: “calling for insurrection”, “criminal association”, “undermining State security”, “criminal association in connection with a terrorist undertaking”, “plotting against the authority of the State” and “acts aimed at compromising public security and creating serious political unrest”.

His PASTEF party was dissolved by decree, even though it has been involved in political life since its inception, enjoys broad representation in the National Assembly and heads dozens of local authorities.

At least three people were killed following demonstrations across the country protesting his arrest. There have been mass arrests of party activists and supporters, including elected representatives, and most of those arrested have been charged with serious offences and detained.

Mr Ousmane SONKO has been on hunger strike since 31 July 2023. His health has seriously deteriorated and he was admitted to hospital emergency on Sunday 6 August 2023.

We the signatories of this appeal, men and women, individually or on behalf of collectives or associations; citizens of Senegal, of various African countries and of the whole world:

Concerned about the preservation of the rule of law and worried about the deterioration of the political and social climate and the threats to civil harmony in Senegal,

Committed to peace, stability and the preservation of the country’s democratic achievements,

Deeply attached to the respect and protection of the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution of Senegal and international human rights treaties;

Call on Mr Macky SALL, President of the Republic of Senegal, firstly, to give the necessary instructions to his Minister of Justice so that the heads of public prosecutor’s offices implement an urgent procedure to obtain :

  • the automatic release of Ousmane SONKO in order to preserve his life and respect his civil rights;
  • the provisional release of the other persons detained for freely expressing their opinions and carrying out political activities in accordance with the rights guaranteed by the Constitution;
  • To withdraw the decree dissolving PASTEF and return to a constitutional order that guarantees full pluralism.

We urge President Macky SALL to implement these measures in order to restore peace, unity and national harmony in a sub-regional area marked by conflict and the retreat of democracy.

Signatories :

Pr Sérigne Diop, University Professor, former Minister of Justice of Senegal
Pr Alioune Sall, University Professor, former International Judge
Me Mamadou Ismaïla Konaté, Lawyer at the Paris and Malian Bars, former Minister of Justice of the Republic of Mali
Robert Dossou, former President of the Constitutional Court of Benin
Reed Brody, Attorney-at-law at the New York Bar, International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
William Bourdon, Member of the Paris Bar
Vincent Brengarth, Member of the Paris Bar
Patrick Kabou, Member of the Paris Bar
Abdoulaye Tine, member of the Paris Bar
Salieu Taal, member of the Gambian Bar.

Mamadou Traoré, Lawyer, former President of the Burkina Faso Bar
Bénéwende Stanislas Sankara, Lawyer, Former Minister of Burkina Faso
Mr Cheikh Sadibou Fall, Lawyer, Member of the Quebec Bar, Canada
Prosecutor Alioune Ndao, Former Prosecutor of the Court for the Repression of Illicit Enrichment
Ms Aminata Touré, Former Prime Minister of Senegal
Pr Mary Teuw Niang, Mathematician, former Minister of Higher Education of Senegal
Demba Ali Jawo, Former Minister, Republic of the Gambia
Amadou Scattred Janneh, Former Minister, Republic of the Gambia
Issa Ndiaye, Former Minister of Education, Mali
Honorable Michel Gbagbo, Member of Parliament for Yopougon, Ivory Coast
Manu Pineda, Member of the European Parliament, Spain
Inigo Martinez, Member of the Basque Parliament, Spain
José Luis Centella, President of the Communist Party of Spain
Bert de Belder, Head of International Relations, Belgian Workers’ Party (PTB)
Jon Rodriguez Forrest, Head of International Relations, United Left of Spain
Maite Mola, Head of International Relations, European Left Party (ELP)
Guy Labertit, Former Africa Delegate of the Socialist Party, France
Brigitte Kafui Adjamagbo Johnson, Secretary General of the African Peoples’ Convention (CDPA), Togo
Augusta Epanya, UPC – MANDEM, Cameroon
Henda Diogéne Senny, President of the Pan-African League (UMOJA), Rep Congo
Dr Félix Atchadé, Member of the Central Committee of PIT/Senegal
Dr Mohamed Ly, Member of the PIT/Senegal Central Committee
Athanase Boudo, Former Member of Parliament, Former Ambassador, Burkina Faso
Honourable Mamadou Lamine Diallo, MP, Vice-President of the National Assembly, Senegal
Honourable Cheikh Bamba Diéye, Former Minister, President of FSD/BJ
Bougane Guéye Dany, President of the Gueum Sa Bopp Movement
Boubacar Diop “Buuba”, University Professor, Coordinator of Tawax Tem.
Habib SY, President of the Yewwi Askan Wi Conference of Leaders
Cheikh Ahmed Tidiane Youm, National Secretary General of the PUR
Dr Cheikh Dieng, President of the FEPP TAWFEKH Party
Honourable Ahmed Aïdara, Member of the National Assembly
Dr Aïssatou Mbodj, Former Minister of State, President of the And Saxal Ligguey Party
Pr Hamidou Dath, President of the CREDI Party
Déthié Fall, President of the PRP Party
Dr Cheikh Tidiane Dièye, National Coordinator of Avenir Senegal Bi Nu Begg
Maimouna Bousso, President of the Mouvement Les Forces Citoyennes
El Hadji Malick Gackou, President of the Grand Party
Moustapha Mamba Guirassy, Former Minister, President of the SET Party
Mamadou Lamine Dianté, President of the MCE Andu Nawle Movement
Pierre Sane, President of the Imagine Africa Institute
Alioune Tine, President of the Think Tank AfrikaJom Center
Sadikh Niass, Secretary General of the Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme (African Meeting for the Defence of Human Rights)
Alfred Bulakali, Regional Director, Article 19
Alassane Seck, President of the Senegalese League for Human Rights
Papa Diéne Diop, President of Amnesty International Senegal
Mame Gor Ngom, Author – Journalist
Pape Sadio Thiam, Author – Journalist
Ibrahima Lissa Faye, Journalist, President Appel
Ibra Pouye, Journalist, France
Ndéye Marie Ly Niang, Entrepreneur
Dr Mahamadou Lamine Sagna, Teacher, USA
Dr Thierno Guéye, FASTEF, UCAD
Dr Abdoulaye Mbaye, ESP, UCAD
Dr Thierno LY, IFE, UCAD
Dr Ndiabou Sega Touré, IFE, UCAD
Dr Mouhamed Lat Diop, EBAD, UCAD
Dr Ousmane Cissé, Faculty of Medicine, UCAD
Dr Sérigne Séye, Faculty of Humanities, UCAD
Dr Alioune Diaw, Faculty of Humanities, UCAD
Dr Alioune Séne, FASTEF, UCAD
Dr Ibrahima Xalil Niang, Faculty of Humanities, UCAD
Dr Mamadou Kabirou Gano, Faculty of Humanities, UCAD
Dr Pape Abdoulaye Diaw, Alioune Diop University, Bambey
Mohamed Abdalah LY, IFAN, UCAD
Dr Fatou Ndiaye, Faculty of Humanities, UCAD
Dr Guéne Faye, FASTEF, UCAD
Dr Youssou Mbargane Guissé, Social Sciences Researcher
Dr Ollo Pépin Hien, CNRST, Burkina Faso
Dr El Hadji Malick Sy, Faculty of Humanities, UCAD
Dr Moussa Coulibaly, UFR Lettres et Sciences Humaines, Ziguinchor University
Dr Jean Sibadioumeg, Faculty of Humanities, UCAD
Dr Khadim Ndiaye, Researcher in History, Canada
Dr Moustapha Faye, Sociologist, University of Montreal, Canada
Dr Kéba Coloma Camara, Teacher, Canada
Pr Rozena Maart, University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
Pr Halidou Yacouba, Abdou Moumini University, Niger
Pr Cyrille Koné, Joseph Kizerbo University, Burkina Faso
Dr Adama Ndiaye, University of Sine Saloum, El hadji Ibrahima Niasse
Pr Diouma Kobor, Assane Seck University, Ziguinchor
Pr Benoit Tine, Assane Seck University, Ziguinchor
Dr Mor Diéye, EBAD, UCAD
Dr Diéne Diégane Thiaré, UCAD
Dr Tidiane Diop, UCAD
Dr Malick Ndiaye, UCAD
Dr Ndéné Mbodj, UCAD
Dr Ndéye Astou Ndiaye, FSJP, UCAD
Pr Zeynep Direk, Istanbul University, Turkey
Pr Yao Edmond Kouassi, University of Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire
Dr Souleymane Kologo, Joseph Kierbo University, Burkina Faso
Dr Benjamin Diouf, Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, UCAD
Pr Mamadou Thiam, Ecole Polytechnique, Thiès
Dr Denis Dias Barros, University of Sao Paola, Brazil
Dr Ibrahima SY, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, UCAD
Dr Cheikh Amadou Tidiane Hanne, Senior Project Manager, Switzerland
Pr Boubacar Kanté, Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences, UCAD
Dr Adama Sadio, Catholic University of West Africa
Dr Papa Fodé Kanté, Gaston Berger University, Saint-Louis
Prof. Daniel Speich Chassé, University of Lucerne, Switzerland
Professor Abdoulaye Keita, IFAN, UCAD
Dr Bocar Kane, University of Strasbourg, France
Dr El hadji Séga Guéye, Université Paris Nord, France
Pr Mahamadé Sawadogo, Joseph Kizerbo University, Burkina Faso
Pr Haneta VETE-Congolo, Bowdoin College, USA
Pr Malick Diagne, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, UCAD
Pr Babacar Mbaye Diop, Faculty of Humanities, UCAD
Professor Idrissa Ba, Faculty of Humanities, UCAD
Professor Bacary Manga, Faculty of Science and Technology, UCAD
Professor Abdoulaye Gassama, UFR SET, Assane Seck University, Ziguinchor
Professor Ibra Séne, College of Wooster, USA
Professor Moda Dieng, Saint Paul University, Canada
Professor François Joseph Cabral, FASEG, UCAD
Professor Souleymane Gomis, FLSH, UCAD
Professor Amadou Fall, FASTEF, UCAD
Professor Mamadou Ba, FLSH, UCAD
Professor Abdou Aziz Diouf, Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences, UCAD
Professor El Hadji Samba Ndiaye, Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences, UCAD
Professor Sidy Alpha Ndiaye, Faculty of Legal and Political Science, UCAD
Prof. Mbissane Ngom, UFR Sciences Juridiques et Politiques, UGB/Saint-Louis
Professor Massamba Diouf, Faculty of Medicine, UCAD
Professor Gora Mbaye, Faculty of Medicine, UCAD
Professor Moustapha Ndiaye, Faculty of Medicine, UCAD
Professor Adjaratou Dieynaba Sow, Faculty of Medicine, UCAD
Professor Hamidou Talibi Moussa, Abdou Moumouni University, Nigerm
Professor Daouda Ngom, Faculty of Science and Technology, UCAD
Professor Cheikh Thiaw, University of Sine Saloum El Hadji Ibrahima Niasse
Dr Khalia Haydara, FLSH, UCAD
Dr Jeanne Diouma Diouf, FLSH, UCAD
Dr Papa Abdou Fall, FLSH, UCAD
Dr Mory Thiam, FLSH, UCAD
Dr Oumar Dia, FLSH, UCAD
Dr Babacar Faye, FLSH, UCAD


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *