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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Senegal rapper acquitted of ‘insulting police’

The rapper Malal Talla, who goes by the stage name of “Fou Malade” (Crazy Sick), is known for speaking out against corruption and calling for better prison conditions.

He was also a leader of the “Y’en a Marre” (Enough Is Enough) youth movement which spearheaded a campaign to stop former president Abdoulaye Wade, who held power from 2000 to 2012, getting a third term in office. 

Talla was released by a court in Dakar after the judge “followed our argument and dismissed the indictment of the state prosecutor”, who had been pushing for a six month jail term, his lawyer Mame Adama Gueye said. 

Talla had been held in custody since June 19 on the charge of “insulting the police officers in the performance of their duties”.

On Sunday, a group of local and international human rights groups, including Amnesty International in Senegal, denounced the legal case against Talla who they said was speaking his mind “as part of a public debate”.

His vocal stand against the police that prompted his arrest happened during a ceremony to mark a national anti-drugs campaign attended by the interior minister. 

His arrest sparked protests across Senegal and a social media campaign for his release using the tag #FreeFouMalade. 

If convicted, he could have been jailed for six months under Senegalese law.


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