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Senegalese journalists protest again over continued detention of colleague, Pape Ale Niang

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Journalists are not giving up over the arrest of their colleague in Senegal as they hit the streets in hundreds of the capital city, Dakar on Friday over the continued detention of Pape Ale Niang”.

Alé Niang was arrested on the weekend by police over allegations that he distributed information the authorities say is ‘liable to harm’ national security.

An official of the organizers of the protest, the convention of young reporters, Migui Marame Ndiaye, said: “We mobilised this afternoon to demand his release.

“Pape Alé Niang’s place is not in prison but in the newsroom. That is why we will lead the fight. We are going to fight for the release of our colleague Pape Alé Niang who has only done a service to Senegalese democracy, he has only done his job normally.”

Other journalists and activists are involved in the course for Niang’s release. Notably is  Nina Penda Faye, who said: “we have also made it known to the State of Senegal, to the Senegalese government, that it was out of the question that in 2022 there are still Senegalese, journalists precisely who are imprisoned for press offences.

“We want this to stop and we ask the State of Senegal, we ask mainly our leaders to release all hostages including Pape Alé Niang who was detained for press offences.”

The protest comes two weeks after a journalist umbrella body, the Coordination of Press Associations (CAP) called for his release.

The travails of journalists like Alé Niang poses a question mark on the subject of press freedom in the Wes African country which reports say stands out with its media pluralism.

Metro

UN experts accuse South Sudan officials of overseeing gang rapes, beheadings of victims

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A panel of United Nations rights experts on Tuesday, accused South Sudan officials of overseeing systematic gang rapes and beheading of victims, some as young as nine.

The panel also called for a thorough investigation of government officials to ascertain the level of involvement of the officials.

The UN investigators say sexual abuse has been used as a “weapon by all sides in the country’s civil conflict which erupted in 2013 and triggered Africa’s biggest refugee crisis since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.:

The Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan also said in a statement it had reasonable grounds to believe a county commissioner in the northern State of Unity had orchestrated gang rapes at a military camp.

“The documented abuses also involved beheadings, with rape victims being forced to carry the severed heads, victims being burnt alive, and days of brutal sexual assaults,” the UN experts said in the statement.

Conflict-related rape and sexual violence in Unity State has become so systematic and is a direct result of impunity,” a member of the commission, Barney Afako, told journalists at the presentation of the report.

However, South Sudan’s Information Minister and government spokesman, Michael Makuei, has dismissed the commission’s statement as mere fabrication.

“They come and sit in hotels here in Juba and fabricate these false reports on South Sudan to make a living. I am saying these are false reports fabricated against the government,” Makuei told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday.

Military spokesperson for Vice President Riek Machar’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO), Lam Paul Gabriel, also debunked the report, saying the movement had had no hand in the reported crimes.

“This report is misplaced because they do not know who is fighting who in those areas where these accusations are made,” Lam said.

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Metro

South African serial rapist who claimed to be ‘Boko Haram’ gang member bags life imprisonment

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A Limpopo, South Africa serial rapist, Selekenyane Tumelo Marakala, who claimed to be a member of the ‘Boko Haram” gang, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for raping and choking a woman.

The 30-year-old gangster, was sentenced on Wednesday by Regional Court in Mahwelereng, was said to have told his victim that he was a member of the dreaded gang and threatened to kill her if she resisted the rape.

The Limpopo police spokesperson, Colonel Malesela Ledwaba, told the court that on Sunday, June 9, 2019, Marakala from Moshate, Maroteng village, met the victim, a 19-year-old woman from Ga-Madiba who was on her way home from a tavern just before midnight.

“He grabbed the victim from the back and took her to his house and raped the victim over the night. The accused, Marakala, covered his face with a balaclava.

“He strangled the victim and he voluntarily let the victim to go in the following morning.

“The accused took off the balaclava and introduced himself to the victim as a member of a dangerous gang called Boko Haram, and threatened her not to report him.

“Ultimately the victim went to the police station to report the incident,” Ledwaba said.

The police said Marakala was arrested “within a short space of time” by the police’s Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit after the victim reported the assault and was remanded in custody since 2019, until the final appearance in the trial.

“The case was successfully investigated and the conviction was secured by Sergeant Ramolokwane Leshaba,” said Ledwaba.

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