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Police raid printing house, halt printing newspaper

(MFWA/IFEX) - Plain-clothed policemen in Senegal on the night of 5 June 2010 stormed the printing house of "Le Populaire", a Dakar-based independent daily newspaper, and halted work on the next issue of the newspaper.

Le Populaire's printing materials, such as plates and newsprints, were confiscated by the policemen.

Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent reported that the action of the police was to prevent the newspaper from publishing a petition by Bara Tall, an entrepreneur and majority shareholder of Comm 7 Group, publishers of "Le Populaire".

Tall had in the said petition demanded a probe into a "missing" amount of FCFA 20 billion (approx. US$445 million) recently paid to the government by SUDATEL, a privately-owned telecommunication group, following the granting of the company's operating license.

The correspondent said when the police stormed the premises, it was locked so they went to the home of Pape Diouf, the caretaker of the printing house, picked him up, interrogated him for a while at the country's ministry of interior, before he was sent to open the office. He was released after writing a statement.

Meanwhile, Tall has condemned the action of the police saying he is unperturbed and will go ahead to circulate the petition through the internet. The newspaper has since resumed publication.

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