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PRESS RELEASE ON THE LIBERATION OF MAURITANIAN JOURNALIST, MR. HANEFI OULD DEHAH BY THE MAURITANIAN AUTHORITIES

Banjul, 28 th February 2010.

The Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Commissioner Bechir Khalfallah welcomes the liberation of the Mauritanian journalist, Hanefi Ould Dehah, Director of the “Taqadoumy” information site.

The Special Rapporteur was a member of a Delegation from the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) visiting Mauretania from 8 th to 17 th February, 2010. During the course of its visit, the Delegation learnt from various sources that Mr. Hanefi Ould Denah had been detained, prosecuted and sentenced for offences against public decency and incitement to revolt, among other counts.

Mr. Hanefi Ould Dehah was granted a reprieve by the President of the Republic, His Excellency, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz on the occasion of the Maouloud, on 26 February, 2010.

The Special Rapporteur calls on the Mauritanian Authorities to pursue and strengthen initiatives geared towards the furtherance of social peace, fostering the rule of law, promoting and protecting human rights in the Islamic Republic of Mauretania and this, in accordance with the provisions of the African Charter and all the relevant legal instruments duly ratified by the Islamic Republic of Mauretania.