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Key Opposition Leader Allowed Home

The former presidential candidate Mehdi Karrubi, detained since backing anti-regime protests in 2009, has reportedly been released from detention and given house arrest, following months of speculation over whether or not Iran would free certain dissidents or political prisoners.
The politician's son Hossein Karrubi told the semi-official ISNA agency that "in security terms conditions have not changed, he has merely returned to his home," in northern Tehran." Since returning home on Saturday, he is not allowed to watch cable television or have access to the Internet, but can watch Iranian television and receive visits once a week, his son said, according to the Kar va Kargar newspaper. Karrubi, who served twice as parliamentary speaker, became one of the main faces of Iran's "Green" opposition movement ahead of the 2009 vote, and was eventually detained along with leading reformist candidate Mirhossein Mousavi, who remains in detention.
-Ahmad Shayegan

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Geopolitics

Senegal's Democratic Unrest Reveals The Ghosts Of French Colonialism

The violence that erupted following the sentencing of opposition politician Ousmane Sonko to two years in prison left 16 people dead and 500 arrested. This reveals deep fractures in Senegalese democracy that has traces to France's colonial past.

Image of Senegalese ​Protesters celebrating Sonko being set free by the court, March 2021

Protesters celebrate Sonko being set free by the court, March 2021

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — For a long time, Senegal had the glowing image of one of Africa's rare democracies. The reality was more complicated than that, even in the days of the poet-president Léopold Sedar Senghor, who also had his dark side.

But for years, the country has been moving down what Senegalese intellectual Felwine Sarr describes as the "gentle slope of... the weakening and corrosion of the gains of Senegalese democracy."

This has been demonstrated once again over the last few days, with a wave of violence that has left 16 people dead, 500 arrested, the internet censored, and a tense situation with troubling consequences. The trigger? The sentencing last Thursday of opposition politician Ousmane Sonko to two years in prison, which could exclude him from the 2024 presidential elections.

Young people took to the streets when the verdict was announced, accusing the justice system of having become a political tool. Ousmane Sonko had been accused of rape but was convicted of "corruption of youth," a change that rendered the decision incomprehensible.

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