Senegal president condemns violent knife attack on prominent female journalist News
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Senegal president condemns violent knife attack on prominent female journalist

Senegal’s President Macky Sall on Friday released a statement condemning a violent attack on Maimouna Ndour Faye, a prominent female journalist and director of 7TV, a private television channel. 

Faye, who presents a political show for 7TV and is a respected voice within the sphere of political journalism, was subjected to a brutal attack and stabbed several times in the vicinity of her home by an unknown perpetrator. According to the outlet, Faye was admitted to a local military hospital in Ouakam with several stab wounds. She is now confirmed to be stable. 

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), President Sall resolutely condemned the assault, saying that freedom of the press is a fundamental right and that violence cannot be tolerated. 

Faye’s assailant remains unidentified and at large. Advocates say the attack underscores the urgent need for continued, comprehensive efforts to protect reporters and media professionals and ensure that they, along with all other individuals, can exercise their fundamental right to free speech and expression.

The attack comes in the wake of heightened political tensions in Senegal over the postponement of the presidential election, which was initially scheduled for February 25. Although officials have said that it is unclear if the attack was politically motivated, the incident is indicative of broader anti-journalism rhetoric in the West African country.

The watchdog organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) previously reported an increase in violence against media industry professionals in the country, including an uptick in verbal and physical threats, as well as increased arrests. They also issued a statement concerning the suspension of internet access amid civil unrest over the election delay. 

“Senegal’s media are very diverse but this is offset by the fact that news coverage tends to be heavily politicized, especially in newspapers,” RSF says on their website. “Senegal has traditionally provided the media with a favorable environment but an increase in verbal, physical, and judicial threats against journalists is fuelling concern about a decline in press freedom.”