06/13/2019

Urgent Action Update: Bloggers Freed On Bail Still Facing Charges (Mauritania: UA 49.19)


Bloggers Cheikh Ould Jiddou and Abderrahmane Weddady were released on bail on 3 June. However, they are still facing the charge of ‘malicious accusation’ and their travel documents and national identification cards are being held by the economic crimes police. The two bloggers were arrested and detained on 22 March after posting comments on Facebook condemning corruption.

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Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz
President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
Office of the president
BP 184
Nouakchott, Mauritania
Ambassador Mouhamedoun Daddah,
Embassy of Islamic Republic of Mauritania to the United States
2129 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
Phone: 202 232 5700 I Fax: 202 319 2623
Facebook: @EmbassyofMauritania
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Your Excellency,

I welcome the release of bloggers Cheikh Ould Jiddou and Abderrahmane Weddady who were freed on bail on 3 June.

The two bloggers were arbitrarily arrested on 22 March by the economic crimes police in Nouakchott. This is after they posted comments on Facebook condemning corruption. Their comments came after media articles were published alleging that some Mauritanian officials had acquired wealth illegally and stashed it abroad.

They were detained by the economic crimes police until 27 March, when they were taken to the prosecutor of West Nouakchott for questioning. Afterwards, they were transferred to the Central prison of Nouakchott.

Despite their release, the two bloggers are still facing the charge of ‘malicious accusation’. Also, the economic crimes police are holding on to their travel documents and national identification cards which they confiscated on 7 March.

I urge you to ensure that the charges against Cheikh Ould Jiddou and Abderrahmane Weddady are dropped as they stem solely from the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression; their travel and identification documents be returned to them; the right to freedom of expression is fully respected, protected and fulfilled in Mauritania.

Yours sincerely,

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES