Senegal restricts internet as protests escalate

·1 min read

DAKAR, March 5 (Reuters) - Senegalese authorities have restricted internet access in response to intensifying protests over the detention of an opposition leader, internet monitor NetBlocks said on Friday.

Over the past two days, at least one person has been killed in violent clashes between riot police and supporters of Ousmane Sonko, who say his detention on Wednesday in the wake of a rape allegation is politically motivated.

NetBlocks said social media and messaging apps including Facebook, WhatsApp, and Youtube had been restricted early on Friday ahead of a planned demonstration by civil society and opposition parties led by protest movement "Y En A Marre" (Enough is Enough).

Sonko, a 46-year old tax inspector who came third with 15% of the vote in the 2019 presidential election, enjoys widespread support among Senegalese youth. He faces questioning after he was stripped of his parliamentary immunity last week.

(Reporting by Dakar Bureau Writing by Alessandra Prentice Editing by Bate Felix and Angus MacSwan)