Senegal accuses police of ‘savagely beating’ one of its Ottawa diplomats

GATINEAU, WHAT. — Senegal accuses Canadian police of “savagely beating” one of its diplomats earlier this week. The Gatineau police service (SPVG) says instead that he was confronted with “an aggressive person” who allegedly injured two police officers.

In a press release dated Thursday and made public on Friday, Senegal’s Foreign Ministry reported “an unusual violent raid by Canadian police on August 2 at the home of a Senegalese diplomat serving in the Embassy of Senegal in Ottawa”.

The document states that she was “handcuffed and savagely beaten to the point that she had difficulty breathing, prompting her to be evacuated by ambulance to hospital.”

The SPVG explains, in a press release published on Friday night, that the police came to “assist a bailiff with an execution order” on Tuesday around 1:30 p.m.

The person was being “aggressive and uncooperative,” and police stepped in to explain the process. It was at that moment that a “policewoman was hit in the face and injured,” the SPVG said.

“Police then decided to arrest the person to put an end to the crime, for the safety of those present. The person resisted arrest and bit a second officer. The person was then taken to the ground for control,” police said. . explained.

The bailiff was then able to give his order while the person was “held in the back of the patrol car, under the supervision of a female police officer.”

“At no time did the person mention having been injured or in pain when questioned,” added the SPVG.

Police said paramedics intervened with this same person around 3 pm and called the SPVG for help.

Senegal accuses the police of “humiliating physical and moral violence (on the diplomat), in front of witnesses and in the presence of their minor children.”

The country says it summoned the chargé d’affaires of the Canadian Embassy in Dakar to the Senegalese Foreign Ministry on Thursday. “A note of protest was sent to the Canadian authorities,” he adds.

The Senegalese government is calling for an investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators of this attack, claiming that it is a “flagrant violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”

The SPVG emphasizes for its part that it has made a call to the provincial and federal authorities. A file has been addressed “to the Director of Penal and Criminal Procedures (DPCP) so that charges can be filed for assault on an officer and obstruction of police work.”

“Given the context and the complaint that a person was injured during the police intervention, the SPVG management discussed the situation with the Ministry of Public Security,” adds the police service.

“Given that legal proceedings could be initiated”, the SPVG indicates that it will not make any further comments and that it will collaborate in any subsequent action or investigation.

This story from The Canadian Press was first published in French on August 6, 2022.

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