VIDEO: A Senegalese court sentenced two politicians, MPs Mamadou Niang and Massata Samb, to six months in prison for assaulting and beating a pregnant coworker, Amy Ndiaye, on December 1 during a contentious parliamentary debate that turned violent. KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

VIDEO: A Senegalese court sentenced two politicians, MPs Mamadou Niang and Massata Samb, to six months in prison for assaulting and beating a pregnant coworker, Amy Ndiaye, on December 1 during a contentious parliamentary debate that turned violent.

A Senegalese court sentenced two politicians to six months in prison on Monday for assaulting a pregnant coworker on December 1 during a contentious parliamentary debate that turned violent.

On 1 December, 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.

The images that have taken the Senegalese social media by storm show Massata Samb and his colleague Mamadou Niang slapping and kicking the pregnant Mrs. Ndiaye in her stomach during assembly.

Amy Ndiaye was hospitalised after the incident and risks losing the baby she is carrying, her lawyer Baboucar Cissé said during the trial. She has been released from hospital, but remains "in an extremely difficult situation", he added.

Amy Ndiaye was hospitalised after the incident and risks losing the baby she is carrying, her lawyer Baboucar Cissé said during the trial. She has been released from hospital, but remains "in an extremely difficult situation", he added.

The two parliamentarians, imprisoned since 15 December, were tried on 19 December by the court of flagrante delicto in Dakar.

The court also sentenced them on Monday to pay a fine of 100,000 CFA francs (150 euros) each, and "jointly" damages of five million CFA francs (7,625 euros) for "assault and battery" on Amy Ndiaye, a member of the presidential party.

The prosecution had requested two years in prison.

The two deputies were not present Monday when the judgment was read. "They will remain in prison while we appeal," Abdy Nar Ndiaye, one of their lawyers, told AFP.

Senegal is widely viewed as a beacon of stability and democracy in West Africa -- a region notorious for coups and dictatorships.

Legislative elections in July led to a virtual tie, requiring President Macky Sall's party to forge a coalition to stay in power.

Sall was elected to a seven-year term in 2012 and re-elected for a five-year tenure in 2019. He has not divulged his plans for the next presidential vote, due in 2024.

Niang and Samb, who were arrested on December 15, were not present in court. Niang and Samb, who were arrested on December 15, were not present in court.

"They are going to remain in prison pending an appeal," one of their lawyers, Abdy Nar Ndiaye, told AFP.

They denied hitting the legislator, despite video evidence to the contrary.

Their lawyers argued the pair were immune from prosecution, given their status as lawmakers, but this was rejected by the court.

The brawl broke out on December 1 during a budget debate in the National Assembly during which Samb had criticized Ndiaye.

In televised footage that shocked Senegal, Samb could be seen slapping Ndiaye after she scoffed at his remarks.

Ndiaye responded by throwing a chair at Samb. Other lawmakers then pushed Ndiaye to the ground, after which she was kicked in the abdomen by Niang.

Despite footage of the attack being broadcast around the country, the two men denied the charges of assault and battery. One of their lawyers said they would appeal the ruling.

"They are going to remain in prison pending an appeal," one of their lawyers, Abdy Nar Ndiaye, told the French AFP news agency.

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