Recent months have witnessed a sharp decline in human rights and public liberties in Mauritania. The arrest of the “February 25th Movement” activists, while exercising their right to peaceful demonstration (they have been subjected to abuse and torture in police stations), the repeated assault on the Mauritanian journalist Hanevy O. Dehah, and the continued arbitrary detention of president and vice president of the anti-slavery movement IRA (Initiative for the Resurgent Abolition Movement) Biram Dah Abeid and Ibrahim O. Bilal all attest to the deterioration of public liberties and human rights in the country.
The Mauritanian Human Rights Watch, while declaring its solidarity with these activists and victims of crackdown and injustice in Mauritania, announces the following:
- Strongly condemns the significant decline of public liberties and the continued violations of human rights under the current regime; in an attempt to limit freedom of expression - which is a fundamental human right – the current regime has turned the institutions that are supposed to protect the law into a tool to control and terrorize its citizens
- Strongly condemns the arbitrary detention of the February 25th Movement activists, subjecting them to torture and humiliation.
- Strongly denounces and condemns the repeated assaults on journalist Hanevy Dehah. The impunity of the perpetrators of these assaults is testimony to the serious deterioration of public liberties and a cover-up for criminals.
- Declares its solidarity with the two detained IRA activists, demanding their immediate release and an end to the arbitrary detention to which they are subjected.
- Calls on all human rights activists and those who believe in principles of justice and freedom to form a bulwark against these serious human rights violations which go against both the Mauritanian laws and the aspiration of the Mauritanian people.