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Detained for 8 Months, Facing Possible Death Sentences

Update: The Nouakchott West Criminal Court on October 20, 2020, found all five detained men guilty of “violating the sanctity of God” based on Article 306 of Mauritania’s Penal Code and sentenced them to between six and eight month prison terms, and…
News

Opportunity to Change Course on Rights

(Beirut) – Mauritania’s first presidential transition in a decade has raised hope that the new head of state, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, will ensure human rights protections for all Mauritanians, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020…
Students protesting against a discriminatory government decision limiting enrollment in public university to 24 years, hold up signs that say “education is a right for all.”
News

Death Row, then Arbitrary Detention, Now Exile

(Beirut) – Mauritania’s authorities freed a blogger on July 29, 2019, who had been held in a blasphemy case for five and-a-half years, Human Rights Watch said today. Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir was freed three days before the…
Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed.
News

Ordered Released 19 Months Ago but Remains in Solitary Confinement

(Tunis) – Mauritania’s president should, in his final days in office, ensure the immediate release of Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir, who remains in detention since a court ordered his release in November 2017, Human Rights Watch…
201906MENA_Mauritania_Logos
News

Both Wrote About Alleged Corruption Scheme

(Tunis) – Mauritanian authorities should free two bloggers arrested on March 22, 2019, and drop all charges related to their peaceful expression, Human Rights Watch said today. The bloggers, Abderrahmane Weddady and Cheikh Ould Jiddou,…
Abderrahmane Weddady and Cheikh Ould Jiddou.
News

Urgent Need for Legislative Reform

(Geneva) –Mauritanian authorities used a litany of harsh and overbroad laws on terrorism, cybercrime, apostasy, and criminal defamation to prosecute and jail human rights defenders, activists, bloggers, and political dissidents during…
People wait to cast their vote on September 1, 2018 outside a polling station in Nouakchott for the country's legislative, regional and local elections. © 2018 Ahmed Ould Mohamed Ould Elhadj/AFP/Getty Images
News

Drop Peaceful Speech Charges; Reveal Any Evidence

(Beirut) – A Mauritanian criminal court has charged an activist with incitement to violence and racial hatred for social media messages decrying racial discrimination in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should…
Relatives of detained activist Abdallahi Yali gather at their home in Nouakchott, Mauritania, September 2018. © 2018 Eric Goldstein/Human Rights Watch
News

Law Passed as Country Hosts African Human Rights Body

(Tunis) - Mauritanian authorities should reverse the recent adoption of a law on apostasy related crimes making the death penalty mandatory for “blasphemous speech” and “sacrilegious acts,” 21 national and international nongovernmental organizations said…
Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed.
News

Local Activists Addressing Discrimination, Slavery Also Face Government Obstacles

“You said human rights? You need to get the OK elsewhere,” said the hakim (a municipal officer) after we asked him to hold a press conference earlier this month in a hotel in Mauritania’s capital, Nouakchott. Normally, the hakim decides…
Human Rights Watch press conference in Nouakchott, Mauritania, February 12, 2018.
News

Curbs on Activism Over Discrimination, Other Sensitive Topics

(Nouakchott) – Mauritania’s human rights defenders face repression when they raise the country’s most sensitive social issues, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The issues include ethnic and caste discrimination,…
March organized by the Collective of Widows and by the Collective of Civilian and Military Victims, on the Day of Commemoration of the Events of 1989-1990, November 2016, Nouakchott.
Report
Summary Mauritania’s population is quite heterogenous; questions of caste and ethnicity lie at the source of many of the country’s most deep-rooted and sensitive human rights problems. This report examines how Mauritanian…
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Appeals Court to Rule in Apostasy Case

(Tunis) – Mauritanian authorities should quash the death sentence for a Mauritanian blogger, Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir, and drop all charges against him that violate freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said today. The Court of…
Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed.
News

Supreme Court to Rule on Sentence

(Tunis) – A Mauritanian blogger convicted of apostasy faces execution unless the Supreme Court cancels or commutes his death sentence in a ruling expected on January 31, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The Mauritanian authorities should drop the…
Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed.
News

Recent Laws on Child Labor, Justice, Free Expression Need Revision

(New York) – Bolivia should amend several laws that undermine the rights to freedom of association and expression, due process guarantees, and children’s rights, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to President Evo Morales. These laws, which are…
News

World Day Against Child Labor Highlights Exploitation in Domestic Work

(New York) – Governments should mark June 12, 2013, the World Day against Child Labor, by strengthening legal protections for the 15.5 million child domestic workers worldwide, Human Rights Watch said today. Governments should ratify the International…