Mauritania ALERT: Two journalists detained briefly

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Abdallahi Ould Tfagha Moctar and Mohamed Lemine Ould Moustapha, reporters of Sahara Media, a Nouakchott-based independent newswire service were on March 11, 2009 arrested by personnel of Mauritania National Security for allegedly filming the entrance to the Nouakchott civil prison.

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)’s correspondent reported that the two were detained for several hours in the civil prison and later transferred to the police headquarters.

The correspondent said although the police could not find footages of the prison on the journalists’ cameras, the two were forced to make statements to that effect.

Mohamed and Abdallahi were at the prison to report on alleged release of jailed leaders of the National Front for the Defence of Democracy (NFDD), a coalition group opposing last year’s military takeover in Mauritania.  Some of the leaders of the NFDD had been in detention for the past three months over allegations of embezzling public funds.

Media Foundation for West Africa