Senegal Opposition Leader Regains Consciousness After Hunger Strike

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Senegal Opposition Leader Regains Consciousness After Hunger Strike

The government has not commented on Sonko’s state of health. But the authorities have questioned whether he was on a strict hunger strike.

 

Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, who went on hunger strike after being jailed, has regained consciousness after being admitted to an intensive care unit, his dissolved party said on Friday.

Sonko “remains in intensive care under close medical and police surveillance”, Ousseynou Ly, spokesman for the defunct PASTEF party, said in a message sent to AFP.

“His state of health remains very worrying”, the spokesman added.

Sonko, who has declared his candidacy for next year’s presidential election, began his hunger protest on July 30 after he was detained on charges including fomenting insurrection, criminal association in connection with a terrorist undertaking and undermining state security.

He was admitted to intensive care at Dakar’s main hospital after losing consciousness, one of his lawyers said on Thursday.

 

Sonko has been in hospital while under detention since August 6, when he was admitted for emergency care. Details of his condition remain unclear.

The 49-year-old has forged a wide following among Senegal’s young through fiery attacks on President Macky Sall, portraying him as a would-be dictator and head of a corrupt elite.

On June 1, he was handed a two-year prison term following a trial on charges of moral corruption of a young beauty salon worker.

The conviction, he says, was a plot to make him ineligible to contest next year’s elections.

He was arrested on July 28 and three days later formally charged. His PASTEF party was also ordered dissolved.

The government has not commented on Sonko’s state of health. But the authorities have questioned whether he was on a strict hunger strike.

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