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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

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

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

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can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…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

Attacks, Threats, and Harassment

(Beirut) – Human rights defenders, activists, and social media bloggers have been physically attacked, detained, threatened, harassed, and disappeared by armed groups, some of whom are affiliated with the state authorities, in Tripoli and…
Demonstrators gather to protest against the presence of militias in the Libyan capital in Tripoli's Martyrs' Square on March 17, 2017.
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.
Report
Summary The final stage of the [2011] revolution was in Sirte. We were filled with hope. Then step by step, Daesh took over. Now we feel we are cursed. -“Ali,” resident who fled ISIS in Sirte In…
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Sofiane Chourabi, a Tunisian journalist emblematic of Tunisia’s struggle for free speech and media independence, and his cameraman, Nadhir Ktari, have been missing since an unidentified group reportedly seized them in Libya last September. On…
Report
War on the Media Journalists under Attack in Libya Summary Methodology I. Background: Libya’s Media Landscape II. Attack on the Media since 2011 Killings and…
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Imprisonment, Withdrawal of Civil Rights, Ban on Practicing Journalism

(Beirut) – A Libyan criminal court’s imposition of a five-year prison term on Al-Ummah newspaper editor Amara al-Khatabi for allegedly defaming public officials is a serious blow to free speech that should not be allowed to stand. The court convicted al-…
News

Impunity Risks Silencing Media

(Tripoli) – Libya’s General Prosecutor should immediately order an impartial and comprehensive investigation into the killing of a prominent editor-in-chief and hold those responsible to account. Miftah Bouzeid, editor in chief of Burniq newspaper, was…
News

Facing Death Penalty or Prison for ‘Insults’

Update: On March 2, 2014, the Libyan Criminal Court acquitted Fathi Sager and Ali Tekbali. (Tripoli) – Libyan judicial authorities should immediately drop all criminal charges against two Libyan politicians accused of “insulting religion” and “instigating…
News

Drop Criminal Defamation Charges, Lift Restrictions on Free Expression

UPDATE: On August 21, 2013, authorities returned Amara al-Khatabi’s passport following a court order, allowing him to travel outside of Libya for health reasons. Al-Khatabi’s lawyer told Human Rights Watch that the charges of insulting the judiciary filed…
News

Thousands in Unlawful Custody Should be Handed Over

(Tripoli) – A Tripoli-based militia from Misrata should immediately transfer to the Libyan government two illegally detained British journalists and the three Libyans who were traveling with them, Human Rights Watch said today. The men are among thousands…
News

Anton Hammerl Killed by Gaddafi Forces 6 Weeks Ago

(New York) - The Libyan government should immediately release the body of South African photographer Anton Hammerl and investigate the role of the armed forces in his death, Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said today.…
News
Updated to correct the weapon that killed the journalists. (New York) - The award-winning photographer and film-maker Tim Hetherington and the prize-winning photojournalist Chris Hondros were killed in Misrata on April 20, 2011, while covering the Libya…