Dakar [Senegal], July 9: Senegal's government has warned French television station France 24 over what it says is "biased" coverage of the West African country's politics.
The Communications Ministry accused the channel on Saturday of an "unethical, unbalanced, biased and subversive treatment of information." A few days earlier, the station had broadcast an interview with opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, who is under house arrest and sentenced to imprisonment, in which he compared the country under President MackySall to a dictatorship.
Sall had announced last Monday that he would not run for a third term after speculation he might try to - despite opponents saying it was unconstitutional. In early June, at least 16 people died in riots following Sonko's conviction, some by gunfire. The police spoke of unknown criminals who had mingled with demonstrators.
In contrast, the opposition and journalists, including those from France 24, said they saw evidence that plain-clothes gunmen sometimes acted alongside security forces and went unchallenged.
The government accused the news channel of "discrediting the communication of the Senegalese police" and called on it to "refrain in the future from damaging Senegal's reputation with biased information." It "reminded" the channel that foreign media were subject to the same laws as Senegalese media. Sall, who has been in office since 2012, has normally had good relations with Paris.
Initially, there was no reaction from France 24, which has already had its broadcasting rights revoked in Senegal's neighbours Mali and Burkina Faso.
Source: Qatar Tribune