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UA 347/90 - Mauritania: Extrajudicial execution / "disappearance": Sileye Lam, Thierno N'Gom

, Index number: AFR 38/011/1990

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 38/11/90
Distr: UA/SC
UA 347/90 Extrajudicial Execution/"Disappearance" 3 September 1990
MAURITANIA: Silèye Lam, aged 30, married, with two children
Thierno N'Gom, aged 21
The two people named above, both from Ganki village, near Boghé, south Mauritania,
are reported to have been arrested on 13 June 1990 by members of the National
Guard in the village of Ganki near Boghé. Silèye Lam was executed extrajudicially
soon afterwards and the whereabouts of Thierno N'Gom are unknown. Details of
these incidents have reached Amnesty International recently.
Silèye Lam was arrested when he was leaving a house next to his own in the
village shortly before a nightly curfew came into force. The curfew has been
in force for the past year and prohibits villagers from leaving their houses between
early evening and dawn. Members of the National Guard insisted on taking him
outside the village to question him about his movements. Other villagers who
witnessed the scene intervened and tried in vain to persuade the guards to release
their prisoner. Eventually the guardsmen agreed that another villager, Thierno
N'Gom, should accompany Silèye Lam in order to reassure him and be a witness.
Soon after the guardsmen and the two men in their custody left, the villagers
heard gun-shots. However, they could not go out as the curfew was already in
force. The following morning, they found the body of Silèye Lam. Despite requests
addressed to local government officials of Boghé by his relatives, the whereabouts
of Thierno N'Gom remain unknown.
Amnesty International is concerned at the frequency of extrajudicial executions
of villagers in southern Mauritania. It appears to be the result of a deliberate
policy of executing unarmed civilians and prisoners selected on account of their
ethnic origin. Members of the Hal-pulaar ethnic group have been the targets of
government forces since April 1989. More than 70,000 have been summarily expelled
from Mauritania to the neighbouring countries of Senegal and Mali. Others have
fled from arbitrary arrests, torture and extrajudicial executions which have
reached an alarming level. In a number of cases reported to Amnesty International
this year, prisoners have "disappeared" after their arrest; although not known
to have been executed, they have not been released and the authorities have not
divulged any information about their fate. It is feared that some may have been
Amnesty International is also concerned at the apparent impunity of members
of armed and security forces who commit human rights violations.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telexes/telegrams/airmail letters, in French or Arabic if
- expressing concern at reports that Silèye Lam from Ganki was extrajudicially
executed on 13 June 1990 and that Thierno Ngom, who was arrested at the same time,
has "disappeared";
- urging the authorities to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death
of Silèye Lam in order to establish if he was killed unlawfully and, if so, to
ensure the prosecution of those responsible;
- urging the authorities to investigate the "disappearance" of Thierno N'Gom,
to clarify his whereabouts and to order his release if he is not being charged
with an offence;
- appealing to the authorities to issue clear orders to all members of the armed
forces, National Guard and other branches of the security forces to emphasize
that killings of prisoners are extrajudicial executions and are prohibited by
both Mauritania's own laws and by international law in all circumstances.
Son Excellence Monsieur le Colonel Monsieur Isselmou Ould Abdel
Maaouiya Ould Sid'Ahmed TAYA KHADRE
Président du Comité militaire de Gouverneur du Brakna
salut national, et Chef de l'Etat Aleg
La Présidence République Islamique de
B.P. 184, Nouakchott Mauritanie
République Islamique de Mauritanie
Telegrams: President Ould Taya Telegrams: Gouverneur Brakna, Nouakchott,
Mauritanie Mauritanie
Telexes: 580 PRIM MTN
Son Excellence Monsieur Hasni Son Excellence Monsieur le
Ould DIDI Commandant Cheikh Sid' Ahmed
Ministre des affaires étrangères Ould BABA
Ministère des affaires étrangères Ministre de l'Intérieur
B.P. 230, Nouakchott Ministère de l'Intérieur
République Islamique de Mauritanie B.P. 195, Nouakchott
République Islamique de
Telegrams: Ministre Affaires Telegrams: Ministre Interieur, Etrangères,
Nouakchott, Mauritania Nouakchott, Mauritanie
Telexes: 585 MINAF MTN
- Mauritanie Demain, BP 4070, Nouakchott, République Islamique de
- Le Cafard libéré, BP 7292, Dakar, Sénégal
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 15 October 1990.

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