Two popular bloggers in Mauritania, Abderrahmane Weddady and Sheikh Ould Jiddou, have been detained for republishing and commenting on a story that had made the headlines in various international media outlets.
In a joint statement 32 human rights and free speech NGOs are demanding the release of Mauritanian blogger Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed who is being held incommunicado even thought he was supposed to have been freed a year ago.
Two journalists from two different publications were arrested for defamation and only released after a sit in staged by fellow colleagues.
The newspaper crisis in Mauritania highlights media freedom and sustainability issues in the country.
Mauritanian authorities arrested photojournalist Seif Kousmate earlier this month claiming he was a suspected terrorist. They also cited “his activism in support of the cause of the descendants of slaves,” before they deported him.
Only a week after crowds were still calling for his execution in street protests, a Mauritanian blogger sentenced to death in 2014 for “blaspheming” the Prophet is finally freed.
The Mauritanian Radio and Television Broadcast Authority ordered Mauritania’s five privately owned news stations to shut down for “failing to fulfil their financial agreements” with the country’s broadcast regulator.
Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed faces the death penalty following a conviction on blasphemy charges.
A talk with Freedom House brings light to why so many anti-slavery activists are harassed and jailed in Mauritania.
Diop Amatidjane, third vice president of IRA-Mauritania, was arrested June 30 by police at his home. Police also arrested Balla Touré, external relations officer. The whereabouts of Amatidjane and Touré along with four other IRA members remain unknown.
On 26 May 2016, a Mauritanian journalist was summarily dismissed from his post for mispronouncing the name of the wife of President Mohammed Ould Abdoul Aziz.
“Civil society plays a crucial role in eradicating slavery in Mauritania, a role the government of Mauritania should recognize by releasing all other activists imprisoned for advancing the cause of equal rights.”
In light of attacks on anti-slavery demonstrators and journalists covering slavery issues, including instances of self-censorship, over the last five years, the MFWA demands Mauritania to reform its stance on free expression rights.
“It is the height of hypocrisy for the court in Mauritania to reaffirm these sentences against anti-slavery activists the same week that the government strengthened its laws against slavery.”