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Last Updated: Monday, 12 July, 2004, 10:35 GMT 11:35 UK
Senegal's 'Day without the press'
Madiambal Diagne
Other newspaper editors fear that they could be next
Senegal's privately-owned newspapers have not been published in protest at the arrest of an editor.

Private radio stations have replaced their news bulletins with music as part of the "Day without the press".

The newspapers say Madiambal Diagne's arrest is part of a government campaign to muzzle the press.

He was picked up on Friday after his Le Quotidien paper wrote about alleged corruption in the customs service and interference in the judiciary.

He was accused of illegally publishing finance ministry documents relating to the customs service.

Le Quotidien also reported that magistrates were unhappy at the transfer of a senior judge away from the capital, Dakar, saying it was a punishment for ruling against the government.

He was charged with publishing confidential reports and correspondence, false information and news "which could cause serious political problems".

Beacon

The BBC's Tidiane Sy in Dakar says that the editors of other newspaper fear that they will be next.

Only state-owned newspapers and one private paper, Wal Fadjri were on sale in the capital, Dakar.

The head of the Wal Fadjri group, which also has a radio station, said that he did not want the issue to become politicised and so was not taking part in the strike.

Senegal has a wide choice of daily newspapers and radio stations and is seen as a beacon of good governance and stability in volatile West Africa.

Prime Minister Macky Sall told Monday's state-owned Le Soleil: "Journalists are not above the law"

On Sunday Justice Minister Serigne Diop said on state television that he agreed "perfectly" with prosecutors accusing Mr Diagne of inciting rebellion. "This is serious in a republic," he said.


SEE ALSO:
Timeline: Senegal
12 Jun 04  |  Country profiles
Country profile: Senegal
12 Jun 04  |  Country profiles


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