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Assault on Democracy Ahead of Elections

Senegal’s interior minister announced the dissolution of the opposition party Patriotes africains du Sénégal pour le travail, l’éthique et la fraternité (Patriots of Senegal for Work, Ethics, and Fraternity, or PASTEF) for rallying its supporters during violent protests in June this year and in March 2021. On the same day, the government also restricted access to mobile data internet services to stop what it called the spread of “hateful and subversive” messages on social media. These moves follow the July 28 arrest of PASTEF leader Ousman Sonko on charges of fomenting insurrection, undermining state security, creating serious political unrest, and criminal association, among others.