Senegal’s Coordination of Press Associations (CAP) is demanding the unconditional release of journalist, Pape Alé Niang, who was arrested on the weekend.
He was detained by police over allegations that he distributed information the authorities say is ‘liable to harm’ national security.
Niang runs the website, Dakar Matin, which is critical of the government.
His lawyer, Cire Cledor Ly, says he was arrested on Sunday afternoon and detained at the central police station in Dakar over three alleged ‘infractions’.
Ly says Niang is accused of ‘having brought to the public's attention information whose disclosure is liable to harm the national defence, and of acts and manoeuvres liable to compromise public security and cause trouble’.
The third infraction relates to a ‘violation of professional secrecy’ says Ly, who has denounced the arrest as a ‘mountain of heresy, intimidation, and an attempt to muzzle the Press’.
Media under pressure
His statement was echoed by CAP which says the media in Senegal is under increasing pressure from both the government and opposition.
It says it will provide Niang with ‘all the assistance needed’.
Senegal was ranked 73rd out of 180 countries on the 2022 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders.