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AFP
December 9, 2020

Three Senegal fathers sentenced after pushing sons to migrate

World

AFP
December 9, 2020

DAKAR: A Senegalese court on Tuesday handed down jail terms to three fathers accused of pushing their sons to migrate to Europe by sea, sending them on a trip that left one of them dead, a defence lawyer said.

In a high-profile case, the trio were given two-year jail terms, 23 months of which were suspended, on a charge of "placing the lives of others in danger," attorney Assane Dioma Ndiaye said.

They were acquitted of the charge of abetting migrant trafficking, the lawyer said. The sons were with other migrants who boarded a canoe to make the crossing from Senegal to Spain’s Canary Islands, the first step in a plan to reach continental Europe.

But one of them, a lad aged about 15 nicknamed Doudou, fell ill and died during the trip. The fathers of the three, all of them fishermen in the coastal town of Mbour, were arrested a couple of weeks later.

Doudou’s fate triggered uproar in Senegal, prompting anguished debate about poverty, parental pressure and the allure of life in wealthy but distant Europe. His father had paid 250,000 CFA francs ($460 / 380 euros) to a smuggler, who was to take the boy to Spain. His destination after that was Italy, where he hoped to sign up for a football training academy.