Mauritania: Amnesty International condemns the enforced disappearance of Youba Siby and subsequent violations of his rights

Responding to the arrest  of Youba Siby in Senegal and his subsequent transfer to Mauritania, Firmin Mbala, researcher at Amnesty International’s regional office for West and Central Africa, said:

“The Criminal Investigation Division informed Amnesty International of the arrest of activist Youba Siby in Senegal on 14 September 2023. Youba Siby was a victim of enforced disappearance for 20 days, with the authorities providing no information as to his fate or whereabouts. 

“After visiting him, Mauritania’s National Human Rights Commission reported on 5 October 2023 that Youba Siby was being held in Nouakchott Civil Prison without access to a lawyer and with no possibility of contacting his family. He will be prosecuted for ‘inciting hatred’ and ‘undermining the morale of the defence forces’ through his social media posts.

“We call on the Mauritanian authorities to respect national and international law by allowing Youba Siby access to a lawyer, a doctor, his loved ones, and to get in touch with his family. They must also guarantee his physical and moral integrity.

We would also remind the Mauritanian and Senegalese authorities that any transfer to another country must be carried out in accordance with a judicial procedure in which the suspect must be able to challenge the decision before a judge and have access to a lawyer. Without these guarantees, the transfer is illegal.

Firmin Mbala, researcher at Amnesty International's regional office for West and Central Africa