The Senegalese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had indicated, this Friday, August 5, having summoned the charge d’affaires of the Canadian Embassy in Dakar the day before to “vigorously denounce and firmly condemn a racist and barbaric act”.
“We are extremely concerned by the alleged treatment of a Senegalese diplomat by the Service de police de la Ville de Gatineau (SPVG),” responded the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press release. “What happened is simply unacceptable. »
Canadian police raided the Senegalese diplomat’s home on Tuesday, during which they “exercised” on the latter “humiliating physical and moral violence”, according to Dakar.
“Canada takes very seriously its obligations under the Vienna”, insisted the government of Justin Trudeau, recalling that this convention has governed diplomatic relations for more than sixty years and “provides for a certain number of immunities, including against any form of arrest”.
At the end of the day on Saturday, the government of Quebec – the province where the incident took place – announced the opening of an investigation by the Bureau of Independent Investigations (BEI, the police of the Quebec police) after “a police intervention which raises questions” against “the First Counselor [sic] of the Embassy of Senegal in Canada”.
The police in Gatineau, a Quebec suburb of the Canadian federal capital, recognized the altercation on Friday evening, which took place on Tuesday when a bailiff “with an order to be executed” had requested the assistance of the police. .
“Despite the reminder of the victim’s status as a diplomat and of the inviolability of her home, the elements of the Canadian police handcuffed her and savagely beat her, to the point that she had difficulty breathing, which led to his evacuation by ambulance to the hospital”, according to the Senegalese authorities.
The Canadian police assured for their part that they had previously confirmed that “the judicial document was indeed valid and that the judicial officer who authorized the judicial order had been informed that the person had diplomatic status”.
An ambulance dispatched
Then, added the SPVG, “facing an aggressive person and refusing to cooperate, the police intervened” to restore calm, but it was then that “a policewoman was hit au face and injured. “The police have therefore decided to arrest” the diplomat. But she “resisted” and “bitten a second policeman”.
The Senegalese diplomat “was then brought to the ground to be controlled”, then detained “in the back of the patrol vehicle, under the supervision of a policewoman, while the bailiff executes his order”, but at “no” time. the diplomat “did not mention having been injured or having pain”, underlined the Canadian police.
However, a few minutes later, an ambulance was dispatched to the diplomat, the police acknowledged, without further details.
A “diligent” investigation
The Senegalese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had given a “note of protest” to the Canadian authorities. It “demands” that an investigation be “conducted and that “prosecutions be carried out against the perpetrators of this unacceptable aggression”.
“Canada will continue to cooperate fully with Senegal to remedy this regrettable situation,” assured Ottawa. “We are working diligently with the various levels of government concerned and are awaiting a thorough investigation,” said the Canadian government, noting that the head of Canadian diplomacy, Mélanie Joly, is “in contact with her Senegalese counterpart,” Aïssata Tall Sall.
Senegal “reserves the right to take any other appropriate action”, warned Dakar.
Senegal is one of Canada’s main partners in West Africa and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks regularly with Senegalese President Macky Sall, their last exchange dating back to fin June.