Article 7 of the 2001 Constitution of Senegal (as amended) provides as follows:
The human person is sacred. It is inviolable. The State has the obligation to respect it and to protect it
Every individual has the right to life, to liberty, to security, to the free development of his personality, to corporeal integrity, notably to protection against all physical mutilations.
Article 8 guarantees the right to freedom of assembly "within the conditions provided for by the law".
The Constitution does not regulate the use of force by law enforcement agencies.
|1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)||State Party|
|ICCPR Optional Protocol 1||State Party|
|1984 Convention against Torture (CAT)||State Party|
|Competence of CAT Committee to receive individual complaints||Yes|
|CAT Optional Protocol 1||State Party|
|1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court||State Party|
|1981 African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights||State Party|
|1998 Protocol to the African Charter on the African Court||State Party|
|Article 34(6) declaration regarding individual petitions||Yes|
|Malabo Protocol on the African Court of Justice and Human Rights||Not party|
Police Use of Force
Law enforcement in Senegal is primarily the responsibility of the National Police Force (Sûreté National) and the Gendarmerie.
According to the Government of Senegal, it is "prohibited for the security forces, in the performance of their law-enforcement tasks, to use force except when it is necessary and in moderation, in accordance with operational requirements". The legal basis for this is unclear.
There is no independent police oversight body in Senegal. The Office of the Ombudsman (Médiature de la République du Sénégal) can hear complaints about unlawful police use of force.
Views and Concluding Observations of United Nations Treaty Bodies
In its 2019 Concluding Observations on Senegal, the Human Rights Committee called on the authorities to ensure that national legislation governed police use of force in accordance with the ICCPR and international standards.
In its 2019 Concluding Observations on Senegal, the Committee against Torture noted with concern
consistent reports of the use of excessive and disproportionate force by the security forces, including the use of live ammunition and tear gas, to repress political rallies and demonstrations.
The Committee also noted with concern "that a number of people have died as a result of the disproportionate use of force by agents of the State" and called on Senegal to:
Increase its efforts to systematically provide training to all law enforcement officials on the use of force, especially in the context of controlling demonstrations, taking due account of the Basic Principles on the Use of Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.
In 2012, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted Resolution 208 on the Human Rights Situation in Senegal in which it expressed its concern "by the use of force by law enforcement officers who are firing live bullets at peaceful demonstrators resulting in the loss of lives". The Commission stongly condemined
the persistent and serious human rights violations which are tarnishing the electoral campaign, and the use of force against peaceful demonstrators.