29 December 2003


French fortnightly "Afrique Education" missing from news stands for a month

Incident details



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(RSF/IFEX) - RSF is worried that the French fortnightly "Afrique Education" may be the victim of indirect censorship in Mauritania, and has called on its Mauritanian distributor to explain the decision to stop distribution.

In a 27 November 2003 letter, the distributor, Les Vents du Sud, told French publisher Messageries de la Presse Parisienne (NMPP) that it no longer wanted to receive the journal, which covers educational issues in Africa.

The reasons for the decision could have been purely economic. However, it followed the publication of an editorial on Mauritania's presidential election in the 16-30 November issue that described the regime and its president, Colonel Maawiya ould Sid'Ahmed Taya, as "pro-slavery" and called the president "a petty racist".

The journal's editor, Jean-Paul Tedga, claims that the ban came straight from the president's office and that it was prompted by the editorial. "It is a much more subtle form of ban than confiscation by the Interior Ministry," he said.

This is the first time that a publication has been eliminated in this manner in Mauritania, where the national press has already been censored many times in 2003.


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