Mauritania: Fear of ill-treatment / possible prisoners of conscience
Messoud Ould Boulkheir, Mohammed H Ould Ismael, Abdallahi Ould Iyahi, Hamoud Ould Abdi, El Kory Ould Hmeity: On 22 January 1997 three leading opposition political party members, a member of the ruling party and a former trade union leader were arrested in Nouakchott. All five have been accused of having made political contacts with Libya, but no charges are known to have been brought against them. It is believed that they may have been detained for their high profile advocacy for an end to the practice of slavery in Mauritania. There are fears that they may be ill-treated in incommunicado detention, and that they may also be prisoners of conscience.