28 October 2008


Detained ex-minister faces seven-year prison sentence

Incident details

Isselmou Ould Abdelkader


(MFWA/IFEX) - Isselmou Ould Abdelkader, an independent researcher who is being detained for criticising the country's military regime, was charged on 26 October 2008 with two counts of allegedly "lying" and "undermining the morale of the army".

A Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) correspondent reported that, if found guilty of the charges, Abdelkader will face five years in prison for undermining the morale of the Mauritanian army and an additional two years for peddling falsehoods.

Abdelkader has since been sent to a civilian prison in Nouakchott.

Abdelkader, a former minister in the regime of deposed President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, was arrested on 21 October following allegations he made that members of the Presidential Security Unit (BASEP) who staged a 6 August coup were foreign mercenaries. Abdelkader made this comment on the Mauritanian state television programme "Point Lumineaux".

Two of the station's staff members, Sidi Ould Lemjad, the host of the programme, and Limam Cheikh Ould Ely, the director of Mauritania TV, were dismissed on 9 October. In addition, Cheikh Ould Ely was arrested and questioned by the National Gendarmerie on 22 October.

MFWA condemns these acts of repression of free speech in Mauritania and calls on the authorities to unconditionally release Abdelkader and reinstate the two dismissed staff members.

Updates the Abdelkader case: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/97934/


Media Foundation for West Africa
PO Box LG 730
30 Duade Street, Kokomlemle
Legon, Accra
alerts (@) mediafound.org
Fax:+233 21 221084
More from Mauritania
  • Freedom of the Press 2016: Mauritania

    The National Assembly passed a new cybercrime law in December 2015 that could lead to prosecutions and self-censorship among the country’s increasingly important online media.

  • Freedom of the Press 2015: Mauritania

    Ranked 103rd in annual global media freedom report

  • World Press Freedom Index 2014: Mauritania

    Ranked 60th in annual press freedom index