Team Gom Sa Bopa, a Gambian civil society organisation has urged the Senegalese government to unconditionally release outspoken rapper Mor Tallah Gueye, popularly known as (Nitt Doff), who is supposed to appear in court today.
The controversial rapper was arrested and jailed in January for comments he made on Facebook.
“We take this opportunity to remind the government of Senegal of the declaration of principles on freedom of expression in Africa, African Commission on human and people’s rights approved by the African Commission in Banjul. Section II of the declaration focuses on interference with freedom of expression and notes that no one shall be subject to arbitrary interference with his or her freedom of expression and any restrictions on freedom of expression shall be provided by law, serve a legitimate interest and be necessary and in a democratic society,” the statement said.
The statement went on: “Team Gom Sa Bopa believes that artists like all other people have the right to freely express themselves. This right is enshrined in the African Commission’s declaration of principles on freedom of expression in Africa. Limiting the rights of artists to express themselves limits their creativity and suppresses their ability to speak out for their community. Artists are not just musicians progressing their careers but a voice from their community that oftentimes represent their people’s needs and concerns. African governments must avoid suppressing dissenting voices simply because they don’t agree with their socio-political views or activities. We call on the Senegalese government to be more accommodating of divergent and dissenting opinions.”