Two Senegalese lawmakers jailed for assaulting pregnant colleague

Two Senegalese lawmakers who physically attacked a pregnant female colleague in parliament, have each been handed six-month jail terms. 

  On December 1, MP Massata Samb attacked his colleague Amy Ndiaye from the gallery over statements she had made against Moustapha Sy, the leader of a member of the main opposition coalition, the Party of Unity and Gathering, who is not a member of parliament but is an influential marabout in Senegal.  

Videos shared online showed Massata Samb and his colleague Mamadou Niang slapping and kicking the pregnant Mrs. Ndiaye in her stomach during assembly.   After order was restored, Ndiaye fainted and was taken to hospital for treatment. Her lawyer Baboucar Cisse said there were fears she could lose her baby, she added her client has since left hospital but “remains in an extremely difficult situation”.   

MPs Mamadou Niang and Massata Samb were sentenced on Monday, January 2.  Mr Niang and Mr Samb, who were arrested on 15 December, were not present in court during the sentencing. Their lawyers argued the pair were immune from prosecution, given their status as politicians, but this was rejected by the court.  

They denied hitting Ms Ndiaye, despite video evidence to the contrary.   In addition to the jail terms, both were fined 100,000 CFA francs ($240) and ordered to pay five million francs ($12,000) in damages. Prosecutors had sought two-year terms.

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