Mauritania 1986 – 1989: background to a crisis: three years of political imprisonment, torture and unfair trials

Index Number: AFR 38/013/1989

This paper describes the pattern of human rights violations since arrests of suspected government opponents began in 1986 (torture, unfair trials, deaths of prisoners), and the escalating scale of abuses since April 1989 when in both Mauritania and Senegal hundreds of people were deliberately killed in mob violence because of their racial origin. Since then operations against black Mauritians have been carried out by the Mauritanian government’s own security forces, thousands have been summarily expelled, many have been detained and some tortured while in custody prior to expulsion, while others have been the victim of apparent extrajudicial executions.

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