19 September 2017

West Africa: Persecuted Journalists Received Moral Support

press release

A small group of Mauritanian journalists have organised a sit-in on September 11, 2017, to denounce the placement under judicial supervision of their colleagues.

Ahmed Ould Cheikh, director of publication of Calame, Moussa Ould Samba Sy, director of publication of Le Quotidien de Nouakchott, et de Rella Ba, director general of Cridem.org received the boost of solidarity from their colleague journalists as they arrived to report to the General Administration of National Security.

The four were placed under judicial supervision, meaning that their movements are legally monitored on September 1, 2017, two weeks after being detained and subjected to intense interrogation by the financial crimes division of the police in what has been termed the "Ould Ghadda Affaire."

The picketing journalists carried placards condemning the strangling and musseling of the press as well as the repression of liberties.

"We are here to support our colleagues who are under siege because of their journalism profession, a sector which has been targeted by the regime of Ould Abdel Aziz", said one of the protesting journalists and director of publication of La Nouvelle Expression newspaper, Camara Seydi Moussa.

Meanwhile, a delegation from the opposition Union of Progressive Forces UFP have paid a visit to the offices of the major media houses whose directors are being harassed by the authorities. Lead by party vice-president, Kadiata Malick Diallo and General Secretary, Moustapaha Ould Bedreddine, the delegation first met with Ould Samba Sy at Le Quotidien de Nouakchott, before meeting with Jedna Deida of Mauriweb.com. The UFP was also due to visit the offices of Calame and cridem.org.

The team urged the beleaguered journalists and their media houses to show fortitude in the face of the offensive from government. On their part, the editorial leadership of Le Quotidien de Nouakchott and Mauriweb.com assured the UFP executives that they would not waver in their effort to help establish true democracy and the rule of law in Mauritania.

The MFWA applauds Senator Malouma Mint Meidah, the few journalists and the UFP for their moral support for the media professionals who are being persecuted for their editorial positions. We join them in urging the Moussa Ould Samba Sy and his colleagues to remain steadfast and devoted to their duty of informing the public, protecting human rights and demanding accountability from the authorities.

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