In this file photo taken on August 27, 2021, President of Senegal Macky Sall attends the Vaccine Equity for Africa event in Berlin, amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP
A Senegalese opposition politician was on Friday charged and imprisoned in Dakar for offending the head of state and spreading false news over remarks targeting President Macky Sall, one of his lawyers said.
Sheikh Abdou Mbacke Bara Dolly is a member of an opposition coalition that is allied to another led by the main Senegalese opponent Ousmane Sonko.
The member of parliament had made critical remarks about Sall during a demonstration by the two coalitions on Wednesday in Dakar.
Police took him into custody on Thursday evening.
He “publicly made outrageous remarks against the president of the republic”, the justice minister said in a press release published on Friday.
The ministry later “gave instructions” for the lawmaker “to be prosecuted”.
Mbacke Bara Dolly had been “charged with offending the head of state, spreading false news (and) remarks contrary to morality and imprisoned”, Ibrahima Diaw, one of his lawyers, told AFP.
Tension is high in Senegal ahead of legislative elections due to take place on July 31.
Anti-government protests were staged on Wednesday by an opposition coalition called Yewwi Askan Wi, in which Sonko is a leading figure.
The Constitutional Court has banned him along with other opposition figures from taking part in the elections.