Following the recent outbreak of an epidemic of hemorrhagic fever (dengue fever etc.), a group of young people under the slogan “A bleeding country” organized a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Health in order to highlight the seriousness of the situation. Their sit-in was subsequently broken up by the police and they were dispersed and harshly beaten.
The Ministry has acknowledged the existence of The Rift Valley Fever and did not deny there was hemorrhagic fever outbreak. Though no effective measures were taken to quarantine the affected persons or prevent the disease from spreading.
Yet the units of National Guard cordoning off the access to the Ministry attacked the demonstrators on Oct. 3, 2015. They detained several members of the organization and sent them to various Nouakchott police stations. They were booked to stand trial on Oct. 20. They were charged with disorderly conduct in accordance with § 101 and 105 of Penal Code and subsequently jailed.
The Mauritanian Human Rights Monitor strongly denounces and condemns the behavior of the authorities with regard to the constant violations of human rights as epitomized in the false charges fabricated in order to blame peaceful demonstrators. Yet they had done nothing else but exercise their constitutionally guaranteed rights to protest.
MHRM demands that the Mauritanian authorities immediately release all detainees and refrain heretofore from using, or indeed abusing, the laws, to cover-up their shortcomings in providing adequate public services to their citizens.