Mauritania: Hanevy Ould Dahah Remains Imprisoned

Photo of Hanevy in the United States by Nasser Weddady

Photo of Hanevy in the United States by Nasser Weddady

In June of 2009, Global Voices Advocacy was the first to report that Mauritanian editor Hanevy Ould Dahah, who runs leftist site Taqadoumy, had been arrested over a comment left on the site.  Ould Dahah, sentenced to 6 months in prison, should have been released on December 24, however, on December 26 it was reported by blogger Nasser Weddady on Dekhnstan, that Ould Dahah was still being held.  In the blog's very first post, Weddady remarked:

This is why I decided blogging. Hanevy’s case is not just another blogger/journalist thrown away for political reasons. His is one that will have profound implications for the country: if General Aziz doesn’t feel any push back for his treatment of a journalist, he is certainly going to assume that he is free to repress any dissenting voice without fear of any consequences. Let’s say that this is THE test case for the future of civil rights in the tiny, often forgotten, nation of Mauritania.

On the 28th, Weddady reported that Ould Dahah had begun a hunger strike.  On January 5, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemned the Mauritanian authorities for holding Ould Dahah past his release date, and the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) called on the Mauritanian government to respect the law.  To date, no mainstream media sources have reported on the case.

To date, Ould Dahah is still being held.  On January 14, Nasser Weddady of Dekhnstan posted:

Hanevy Ould Dahah should in theory have his day at the supreme court today (Jan 14) after being suddenly summoned to appear before the highest court in the land. Except that the proceeding will be illegal. Make no mistake, the Mauritanian government did not suddenly discover that it erred in this case, it is merely trying to coverup its already highly illegal treatment of Hanevy. In fact, the authorities may convict him to another sentence!

Weddady also named the officials involved in Ould Dahah's detention, but then stated, “Hanevy’s ordeal is sanctioned by the highest authorities in Mauritania: General Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz. The system Mauritanians live under is such that he, and he alone, has the power of life and death on anyone foolish enough to cross him.”

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