Senegal President Criticizes Jail Sentence for Radical Preacher

Senegalese President Macky Sall said Thursday the government should appeal a one-year prison sentence handed to a Muslim preacher found guilty of justifying terrorism and inciting religious intolerance.

The sentence for the 38-year-old preacher, who was arrested in October after labeling troops involved in the peacekeeping operation in neighboring Mali infidels, is too mild, Sall told Radio France Internationale. “When you endanger state security, you must be firmly punished,” he said.

Senegal, a secular West African nation with a predominantly Muslim population, detained about a dozen religious leaders in October on suspected links with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The militant group, based in Mali, has claimed responsibility for attacks on hotels and restaurants in Mali, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast that have left more than 70 people dead.

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