Mauritania: Human Rights Defenders at Risk
Curbs on Activism Over Discrimination, Other Sensitive Topics
Saturday 10 February 2018
(Nouakchott) – Mauritania’s human rights defenders face repression when they raise the country’s most sensitive social issues, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The issues include ethnic and caste discrimination, slavery, and the need for accountability for a campaign of atrocities against certain groups three decades ago.
The 73-page page report, “Ethnicity, Discrimination, and Other Red Lines: Repression of Human Rights Defenders in Mauritania,” examines the legal framework that allows the government to easily refuse legal recognition to associations it dislikes, on such grounds as engaging in “anti-national propaganda” or “exercis[ing] an unwelcome influence on the minds of the people.” Without legal recognition, associations are hard-pressed to rent a hall for a meeting or public event, obtain permission to peacefully protest, or obtain funding from foreign donors.