MAURITANIA ALERT: Police assault journalist

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bechir Ould Babana, the Editor In Chief of the Electronic newspaper Saharamedia, was on October 15, 2008; assaulted in Nouakchott by the Anti-Riot Unit of the Mauritania Police.

Media Foundation For West Africa (MFWA) correspondent reported that Bashir Ould Babana, is also the local correspondent of MBC, a Pan Arab Television Company of Saudi Arabia. He was covering a protest march organised by the forces of the National Front for the Defence of Democracy (NFDD) to oppose the August 6, 2008 coup d’état led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel.

Ould Babana, who refused to disclose his identity as a journalist to the police, was beaten up on the orders of Cheibani, a Chief Inspector of Police and commander of the unit.
The Police, on the same day, are also reported to have violently broken up, with tear gas and batons, a peaceful march organized by the NFDD. The protestors were dispersed when they gathered up in different areas of the capital to ask for a return to constitutional rule, the release of deposed President Sadi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallah and his re-installation as president.

This is the second time the police has prevented the NFDD, under similar conditions, from organizing a peaceful march aimed at denouncing the General Mohamed Ould Abdel led Coup d’etat.

Media Foundation For West Africa