Ameriques Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Mauritania23 May 2005

Journalist who was detained in anti-Islamist raid is freed after three days

Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Ebilmaali, the editor of the independent daily Akhbar Nouakchott, was freed on 21 May after being held for three days. Following his release, he told Agence France-Presse that the police wanted him to show them the hiding place of Jemil Ould Mansour, an Islamist opposition leader he recently interviewed.

"They also wanted to use me to find other fugitives, which I flatly refused to do," added Ebilmaali, who also writes for the Arabic-language edition of the daily Nouakchott-Info and is a stringer for the German public radio station Deutsche-Welle.


20.05.2005 - Two journalists arrested in anti-Islamist raids

Reporters Without Borders called on the Mauritanian authorities today to explain the arrests of journalists Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Ebilmaali and Mohamed Ould Abderrahmane in the course of anti-Islamist raids by the police. Ebilmaali was detained yesterday, while Abderrahmane was detained on 25 April.

"Arresting journalists is serious and requires the utmost transparency," the press freedom organization said. "Counter-terrorist raids are no justification for the use of the most repressive police methods and detaining people secretly."

Reporters Without Borders added: "If Ebilmaali has been imprisoned to make him reveal his sources or to punish him for interviewing the leader of an Islamist movement, we must voice our disapproval and call for his immediate release. On the other hand, if he and Abderrahmane are being held in prisons in Nouakchott for non-political crimes, the authorities must say so at once."

The editor of the independent daily Akhbar Nouakchott, Ebilmaali also writes for the Arabic-language edition of the daily Nouakchott-Info and is a stringer for the German public radio stations Deutsche-Welle (DW).

In a statement calling for his release, his newspaper said he was "abducted" from his home yesterday morning by "men in turbans who identified themselves as police officers." Local sources said his colleagues believed he was arrested for publishing an interview on 9 May with Jemil Ould Mansour, a leader of the Islamist opposition who is wanted by the police.

Abderrahmane works for the public television station. Since his arrest during an anti-Islamist raid on 25 April, Reporters Without Borders has tried without success to find out what he is charged with.

The authorities carried out several raids on Islamists at the end of April, accusing their leaders of being linked to foreign organizations such as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), an Algerian armed group that follows Osama bin Laden.



In this country
14 May - Mauritania
Leading journalist escapes murder attempt
10 April - Mauritania
Jailed newspaper editor pardoned by junta chief
18 March - Mauritania
Journalist released, website allowed to reopen
19 August - Mauritania
Two journalists conditionally freed
16 June - Mauritania
Libel charge brought against publisher of Arabic-language weekly

in the annual report
Mauritania - Annual Report 2008
Mauritania - Annual report 2006

Africa press releases
3 June - Somalia
Alarm at TV station director’s abduction near Mogadishu
27 May - Gabon
Government imposes news blackout on President Bongo’s health
26 May - Somalia
Radio reporter shot by militia dies of injuries, fourth journalist to be killed this year

africa archives
archives

reports
18 March 2009 - Democratic Republic of Congo
“Bukavu, murder city”: investigation report into murders of journalists in the capital of Sud-Kivu
21 May 2008 - Eritrea
Naizghi Kiflu, the dictatorship’s eminence grise
6 March 2008 - Kenya
"How far to go ?" Kenya’s media caught in the turmoil of a failed election
archives

Sign the petitions
Eritrea
Sign the petition for the release of ten Eritrean journalists