Haratin: Violent Police Repression Against IRA Activists
On Saturday 9 March 2013 at around 6.30pm, a police unit from the city of Kaedi (southern Mauritania) under the command of the Regional Security Director, Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Sidi Yahya, violently attacked an IRA-Mauritania activist group.
Below is an article published by IRA-Mauritania (translation from French by UNPO):
After showering the militants with tear gas, forcing them to leave the house where they were gathered, the police forces started beating them up, causing serious injuries on the activists. After being treated at the regional hospital of Kaedi, nine IRA activists were jailed at the Kaedi police station.
The resurgence of violence from Mauritanian authorities comes in the aftermath of a demonization campaign targeting IRA and the Haratin community (false accusations of apostasy and of burning the Koran). The campaign is supported by imams, political leaders and media such as private TV channels (Chinguity TV, Sahel TV), the private radio Mauritanides (Arab version) and other online news websites.
Therefore IRA – Mauritania:
· Considers that the demonization campaign that IRA and the Haratin community are facing has allowed the option of repression, which has been observed by Mauritanian authorities without reaction.
· Declares that if this arbitrary choice was to be confirmed, civil peace will be put at risk. It would prove again the disrespect by Mauritania of international and national laws and conventions on freedom of speech, assembly, association and on the prohibition of torture.
· Calls on political and judicial authorities and HAPA (High Authority for Press and Audiovisual communication) to play their part in the media regulation and to take their responsibilities regarding the instrumentalisation of religion taking place in several mosques which disseminate hateful and violent messages against IRA and the Haratin community.
· Confirms to all our activists and supporters our commitment to non-violent actions and asks them to resist any act of provocation.
· Demands the immediate release and with no conditions of the following IRA activists and supporters who are being detained in Kaedi :Eyoub O. Mohamed Mboyrik, ahmednah O. Outhmane, Mahfoudh O. Mohamed, Boubacar O. Salem, Abdallahi Dembélé, Aliyine O. Zeidane, Hamza O. Jaafar, Samba Diagana, Cheikhna O. Mahmoud.