Senegal opposition leader sentenced to two years

A court in Senegal has sentenced the leading opposition figure Ousmane Sonko to two years in jail for “corrupting youth”. The court on Thursday acquitted Sonko, a candidate in the 2024 presidential election, of rape charges and issuing death threats.

Sonko, 48, was accused of raping a woman who worked in a beauty salon in 2021 and making death threats against her. He denies wrongdoing and is boycotting court proceedings.

The case has triggered violent protests, with Sonko’s supporters denouncing the charges against him as politically motivated, which the government and justice officials deny.

Reporting from Dakar, Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque said Sonko would “probably spend the night in jail”. Under Senegalese law, his conviction would bar Sonko from running in next year’s election, said Bamba Cisse, a defense lawyer.



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