Wednesday, 28.03.2018 - Dakar, Sénégal

Faces of Religious Radicalization in African Carceral Spaces

On 28th March 2018, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung-Peace and Security Centre of Competence Sub-Saharan Africa (FES PSCC) presented its study "Faces of Religious Radicalization in African Carceral Spaces", written by Dr. Sylvain Landry FAYE. The workshop was held at the West African Research Center (WARC). It was attended by State actors, diplomatic representatives, representatives of the prison administration and the various prisons and detention centres in Senegal, research institutes, national and international organizations, academics and members of civil society organizations.

FES PSCC Sub Saharan Africa

FES PSCC Sub Saharan Africa

The phenomenon of religious radicalization in carceral spaces towards violent extremism and terrorism, remains an increasingly worrying situation.

In the African context, the presence of this scourge in prison is a reality. Indeed, the prison has become the meeting place between "recruiters" and "recruits" who undergo a dangerous process of indoctrination, most often religious. Detainees represent fertile ground for the ideologies developed by the recruiters who are in these same places of detention. They thus transform common law prisoners, often unrelated to terrorism.

This is how the study finds all its importance. Its results were presented to the various actors concerned for better consideration and improved solutions to address the serious risks presented by this phenomenon.

The workshop aimed to present the main lines and recommendations of the study in a stakeholder framework. The discussions that followed led to constructive exchanges and enriched the recommendations of the study. Indeed, among the proposals, the following have been highlighted:

  • Promote socio-educational services in prison settings;
  • Define and strengthen religious support for detained persons;
  • Respect the rule of law, which means strict respect of the rights of prisoners;
  • Separate common law prisoners from those showing signs of radicalization;
  • Define the role of women in the worsening and/or resolving conflicts in the region;
  • Consider the gender aspect in the actions undertaken to fight the phenomenon of radicalization in prisons.

Peace and Security Centre of Competence Sub-Saharan Africa

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