Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières - RSF) has written to Mauritania’s Interior Minister, Lemrabott Sidi Mahmoud Ould Cheikh Ahmed, in protest at the arrest of Mohamed Fall Ould Oumere, Publication Director of the French language weekly newspaper La Tribune.
"To the best of our knowledge, this journalist, who is well known for his independence, was simply carrying out his work. We are calling for his immediate release. We are all the more concerned as we fear that the police may try to use force to extract information from him," said RSF Secretary General Robert Ménard. "This arrest again shows the extent to which taboo subjects, such as non-recognised political organisations, still exist in Mauritania," he added.
RSF has learnt that on the evening of 12 April, Mohamed Fall Ould Oumere, Publication Director of the French weekly La Tribune, was arrested by police in Boutilimitt, 150 km east of Nouakchott. Police sources told the Agence France-Presse that the arrest was part of investigations into the clandestine organisation "Conscience and Resistance" (CR). On 25 March, La Tribune published an article on a recent visit to Mauritania by leaders of CR. According to sources close to the journalist, "Mohamed Fall Ould Oumere was about to publish the organisation’s manifesto, which rules out any negotiations with the authorities in power. He was the only person in possession of this document. What’s more, his arrest took place while he was investigating the arrest, the previous day, of Professor Mohamed Baba Ould Said, who was accused of having close links with CR".