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Watch: Senegalese MPs attack and kick a pregnant legislator in parliament over her remarks on an influential Muslim leader, jailed

During a high-voltage debate about democracy in Senegal, pro-government legislator Amy Ndiaye was slapped and then kicked in her belly by MPs Mamadou Niang and Massata Samb, who were each given six-month prison terms after a trial that began on December 19.

Two Senegalese MPs were jailed for six months, fined 100,000 CFA francs ($150), and ordered to pay five million francs in damages for assaulting a pregnant legislator during a chaotic session in the National Assembly last month.

During a high-voltage debate about democracy in Senegal, pro-government legislator Amy Ndiaye was slapped and then kicked in her belly, allegedly by MPs Mamadou Niang and Massata Samb, who were each given six-month prison terms after a trial that began on December 19.

As can be seen in the above video, Senegalese MPs exchanged blows during a chaotic session of parliament that took place on December 1 last year.

“They are going to remain in prison pending an appeal,” one of their lawyers, Abdy Nar Ndiaye, was quoted as saying by AFP.

While they pleaded not guilty and denied hitting the legislators, the video evidence suggested to the contrary. 

The layers representing the duo said they were immune from prosecution, given their status as lawmakers, but the court rejected their contention. 

The incident took place on December 1, during a routine vote on the justice ministry’s budget. Ndiaye was assaulted after she made remarks about Serigne Moustapha Sy, an influential Muslim leader who supports the opposition but is not a lawmaker, leading to commotion and chaos.

Ndiaye had fainted and was given hospital treatment, her lawyer Baboucar Cisse said, highlighting that she was pregnant and there were fears that could lose her baby. 

Cisse, who has demanded a two-year jail sentence for the accused, said Ndiaye is out of hospital but “remains in an extremely difficult situation.”

Nonetheless, the incident triggered a vigorous debate about parliamentary discourse and the treatment of women, incidentally coinciding with an awareness campaign against domestic violence.

Senegal, a country in Western Africa, is regarded as a symbol of stability and democracy in a region wracked by bloody coups and military dictatorships.

In July last year, legislative elections resulted in a virtual tie, with President Macky Sall’s party required to enter into an alliance to remain in power. Sall was elected to power for a seven-year term in 2012 and re-elected for a five-year tenure in 2019. He has not yet disclosed his plans for the next presidential vote, which will take place in 2024. 

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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