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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 January, 2005, 19:02 GMT
Senegal opposition to amnesty law
By Tidiane Sy
BBC, Dakar

President Abdoulaye Wade
President Wade has not commented on the issue
Opposition is growing in Senegal to the recent passing of a bill granting an amnesty to those convicted of having committed political crimes since 1983.

This includes anyone involved in the controversial death of a constitutional court judge in 1993 while people were waiting for election results.

The ruling party at the time accused President Abdoulaye Wade of being behind the killing of Babacar Seye.

He in turn accused the socialist regime - which won the 1993 vote.

Mr Wade eventually defeated the Socialist Party in elections in 2000.

However now that the amnesty bill has been voted for by his party, old wounds are being reopened.


Opposition parties were quick to criticise the parliamentary vote, saying that among President Wade's first acts when he came to power in 2000, was the decision to release from prison those who were convicted of having assassinated the judge.

A campaign is now growing to try to stop the bill becoming a law which would happen with a presidential signature.

Opponents say they fear the law could open the door to impunity and are organising demonstrations.

And one of the president's most loyal allies, Iba Der Thiam, a deputy president in the national assembly, who refused to vote for the bill, has asked him to address the nation about the subject.

A Paris-based human rights group has also written to President Wade and asked him not to sign it into law, while some political parties, including one in government, have decided to take the matter to court.

Country profile: Senegal
31 Dec 04 |  Country profiles

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