(AFP) – Jul 21, 2008
DAKAR (AFP) — Senegal's main radio stations and newspapers held a "news blackout" day Monday to push for action against police officers who allegedly beat up two reporters at a football match last month.
Protesters had called for a stop to all television and radio broadcasts and for daily newspapers not to be published.
The main private radio stations Sud FM and Radio Futurs Medias (RFM) did not broadcast Monday and the biggest private dailies like "Le Populaire", "L'Observateur", "Le Quotidien" and the "Sud Quotidien" did not appear.
However, the government-owned "Le Soleil" daily, the public television RTS and four other private television stations did not join the blackout.
The day of protest comes after the alleged assault on two journalists by police officers at the Senegal-Liberia football match on June 21.
Boubacar Kambel Dieng, head of sport at RFM, and Karamoko Thioune, of West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR), accuse the police of violently beating them at the match.
Dieng subsequently spent 20 days recovering at a private hospital in the capital, Dakar.
Several marches in protest at the men's treatment have been held across the country.
Following a complaint from Dieng's lawyers, the prosecutor of the regional court in Dakar opened a judicial inquiry into "assault, acts of torture and obstructing the right to work," on July 8.
Senegal's interior ministry absolved the police of blame in a statement on July 10, accusing Dieng of having "provoked the confrontation by punching a ranking police officer" and shouting abuse at the police.
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