• Campaigns

Mauritania: Fear of torture / legal concern: Ahmed Ould Daddah, Hamdi Ould Mouknass, and at least four other prominent members of the Union des Forces Democratiques (UFD) and the Union pour la Democratie et le Progres (UDP), including: Mohamed El Moustaph

, Index number: AFR 38/001/1995

Opposition leaders Ahmed Ould Daddah and Hamdi Ould Mouknass were arrested on 23 January 1995 with at least four others, following riots during the weekend of 21/22 January. None of those arrested are known to have been charged with any offence. There are fears that they may be tortured in incommunicado detention.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 38/01/95
Distr: UA/SC
UA 23/95 Fear of torture / Legal concern 27 January 1995
MAURITANIAAhmed Ould Daddah - Secretary General of the Union des Forces
Démocratiques (UFD), Union of Democratic Forces
Hamdi Ould Mouknass, President of Union pour la Démocratie et le Progrès (UDP),
Union for Democracy and Progress
at least four other prominent members of the UFD and UDP including:
Mohamed El Moustapha Ould Bedreddine, second Deputy Secretary General of the
UFD
Ahmed Ould Lafdal, member of the UFD's executive bureau
Diagana Chouaibou, member of the UFD's executive bureau
Sy Ibrahima, Vice-President of the UDP
Two opposition leaders, Ahmed Ould Daddah and Hamdi Ould Mouknass, were arrested
on 23 January 1995, together with at least four other opposition activists,
following riots in the capital, Nouakchott, and other towns during the weekend
of 21/22 January. Ahmed Ould Daddah and Hamdi Ould Mouknass are reported to
have been moved from the place where they were initially held in Nouakchott
to an unknown destination. None of those arrested are known to have been charged
with any offence and they remain held incommunicado. There are fears that they
may be at risk of torture while in incommunicado detention.
The arrests occurred after the authorities accused Mauritania's two main
opposition parties, the UFD and the UDP, of fomenting unrest following
demonstrations in Nouakchott and elsewhere on 21 and 22 January against a 25
per cent increase in the price of bread. Opposition leaders have claimed that
the demonstrations started spontaneously and have condemned the acts of violence
which occurred.
On 24 January, at least 10 further arrests took place in Nouakchott after another
demonstration demanding the release of those arrested on 23 January and again
protesting at the price increase. Although official sources said that the
10 people had been released, it is believed that at least some of these and
others arrested in similar circumstances in the following days remain held
without charge or trial in incommunicado detention.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters in French or your own language:
- expressing concern at the continuing detention outside any legal framework
of opposition party leaders Ahmed Ould Daddah and Hamdi Ould Mouknass and others
arrested on or around 23 January 1995;
- explaining that you believe that they may be prisoners of conscience who
have been arrested solely on account of their membership of an opposition party
and have not been involved in acts of violence;
- expressing concern for the well-being of prisoners held in incommunicado
detention, and seeking assurances that they are being treated humanely in
accordance with international standards;
- urging that all those arrested in connection with the demonstrations be given
immediate access to their families, and that they should be allowed to see
doctors and lawyers as appropriate;
- urging that if any are to be charged with criminal offences, they be formally
charged and promptly brought to trial, and that all others be immediately and
unconditionally released.
APPEALS TO:
1. Son Excellence
Monsieur Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya
Président de la République
La Présidence - BP 184, Nouakchott - Mauritania
Telegrams: President Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya, Nouakchott, Mauritania
Telexes: 5580 PRIM MTN
Faxes: + 222 2 52636
Salutation: Monsieur le Président/Dear Mr President
2. Monsieur Sid Ahmed Ould Boubacar
Premier ministre et Chef du gouvernement
La Primature, Nouakchott - Mauritania
Telegrams: Prime Minister Ould Boubacar, Nouakchott, Mauritania
Salutation: Monsieur le Premier Ministre/Dear Prime Minister
3. Monsieur Sow Abou Demba
Ministre de la Justice
Ministère de la Justice, Nouakchott - Mauritania
Telegrams: Justice Minister, Nouakchott, Mauritania
Faxes: + 222 2 52860
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre/Dear Minister
COPIES TO:
1. Monsieur Mohamed Lemine Salem Ould Dah
Ministre de l'Intérieur, des Postes et des Télécommunications
Ministère de l'Intérieur, des Postes et des Télécommunications
BP 195, Nouakchott - Mauritania
2. Al Bayane (Newspaper)
BP 1673, Nouakchott - Mauritania
and to diplomatic representatives of Mauritania in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 12 March 1995.

Choose a language to view report