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Mauritania31 October 2003

Reporters Without Borders appeals to presidential candidates

Dear candidates:

As the 7 November presidential election approaches, the worldwide press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders calls on you to formally declare your support for a range of measures to ensure greater press freedom, a topic that does not feature in your campaign manifestos.

We would like you to promise, if elected, to

— Abolish article 11 of the 1991 press law that allows the interior ministry to ban the circulation, distribution or sale of newspapers that "undermine the principles of Islam or the reputation of the state, harm public interest or disturb public order or security." More than a dozen newspapers have been banned under article 11 so far this year.

— Enforce article 10 of the national constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression, by ending the state monopoly of radio and television.

— Ensure that application of the press law about issuing press cards does not exclude independent journalists.

— Give all candidates equal access to public media in future elections.

Reporters Without Borders will publicise your replies to this appeal, which we hope you will respond to without delay.

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

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

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