Senegal: Free Guy Marius Sagna!

Issued by the Office of the Chairperson
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
06 August 2019

The International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS), a broad global anti-imperialist alliance, vehemently condemns the arrest and detention of Guy Marius Sagna, one of the leaders of the social movements in Senegal. The ILPS is calling for his immediate and unconditional freedom and expresses its warm solidarity with the social movements in the country.

Sagna is head of the No to EPAs Coalition, an alliance which struggles against the neoliberal agenda being imposed by France and the European Union on the West African country through so-called free trade agreements and is a proud founding member of ILPS-Senegal. He is also a member of the anti-imperialist movement FRAPP/France Degage!, which is leading the fight against French neocolonial rule and recolonization drive in the country.

Sagna was arrested on July 16, was put in police custody, but was transferred to prison on July 19 as he waits for trial, which could take many months or a year or more. Given the nature of the country’s judicial system, he can be imprisoned for a long period without trial.

He is being charged with “spreading fake news on terrorism” over a Facebook post in which he posted a statement of FRAPP/France Degage!. The statement criticized French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner who, in a recent visit to the West African country, claimed that “terrorists are already in Senegal.” Castaner’s claim was widely condemned in the country and is seen as part of France’s scheme to make Senegal receptive to greater French military presence, similar to Mali.

Sagna is no stranger to repression from the Senegalese government, having been arrested many times in protest demonstrations which he courageously joined and led. This time, however, he was arrested in his home, which shows that he is targeted for political repression.

The immediate context of Sagna’s arrest is the intensifying struggle of the Senegalese workers and people, led by social movements in the country, for decolonizing the country’s financial system – in particular, the abolition of the CFA Franc. Recognizing the deleterious effects of the currency on the economies of Francophone Africa and heeding the pressure from many social movements, many governments have agreed to a new shared currency. This is a blow to France’s economic and military hegemony in these countries.

Sign the petition to Free Guy Marius Sagna:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSepXw-tH6eNl0yqlcC2ezbDlnywHezKh6sG4YOcqnB4jCYpsQ/viewform

Sagna’s imprisonment is a clear case of political repression. It is aimed at punishing him for his activism, hindering him from carrying out his tasks in the social movements, and spreading fear among activists in the social movements and among the workers and people of Senegal.

Criticisms of imperialism are not fake news, and activism is not terrorism. The ILPS blames and condemns Senegal’s Macky Sall regime for Sagna’s detention. By arresting and imprisoning Sagna, the Macky Sall regime is further exposing itself as oppressive and repressive towards the Senegalese workers and people and subservient to French neocolonial interests.

The ILPS supports the broad array of political forces in Senegal that are calling for Sagna’s freedom. It hails the social movements in the country for holding a successful protest demonstration on August 2 in Dakar, the country’s capital. The justness of the call for Sagna’s immediate freedom is so clear that even politicians belonging to the dominant party are echoing it.

The ILPS expresses its solidarity with the social movements in Senegal who are fighting French neocolonial rule and recolonization drive in their country. It supports their struggle against French monetary imperialism and against greater French military presence. The social movements of the people will continue to expand and strengthen their ranks and frustrate the regime’s efforts to weaken them through Sagna’s arrest and detention.

The ILPS is calling on all anti-imperialist individuals and organizations in the world to condemn Sagna’s arrest and detention, to call for his immediate and unconditional freedom, and to express solidarity with the intensifying struggles of the workers and people of Senegal led by their social movements.

Free Guy Marius Sagna!
Stop repression of anti-imperialist activists!
Solidarity with the workers and people of Senegal!

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Office of the Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS)
Melbourne, Australia Email: officeofthechair@ilps.info; lencooper@ilps.info

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