Hanevy Ould Dahah should in theory have his day at the supreme court today (Jan 14) after being suddenly summoned to appear before the highest court in the land. Except that the proceeding will be illegal. Make no mistake, the Mauritanian government did not suddenly discover that it erred in this case, it is merely trying to coverup its already highly illegal treatment of Hanevy. In fact, the authorities may convict him to another sentence!
His lawyers led by veteran human right activist attorney Brhaim Ould Ebetty hit back with a complaint duly filed against the officials involved in Hanevy’s extrajudicial punishment. For the record, they are:
- Ly Amadou Ciré, district attorney at Nouakchott’s regional court
- Ahmed Ould Wely, government attorney at the appeals court
- Mariata Kane, penitentiary service and penal affairs director
- Ahmed Ould Cheikh, the Dar Naim prison facility warden
In an interview on Taqadoumy, Ould Ebetty is paraphrased explaining this round of government legal jockying:
Whether it yields a release or an additional sentence, the outcome of tomorrow’s hearing is illegal and will not be accepted by Hanevy or his defense [team] we have already shown what the law says on this matter in our last affidavit to the supreme court.
Still according to Ould Ebetty, the defense team is also considering taking Hanevy’s case before international courts in case the Mauritanian supreme court fails in its duties to restore Hanevy’s freedom.
Incidentally, in another twist, the complaint against the officials behind Hanevy’s detention was filed with..District Attorney Ly Amadou Ciré, the very same who initiated this entire mess. He lodged the complaint and delivered the plaintiffs with a receipt, exactly as mandated by law.
Although it is easy to blame Messieurs Ciré et al for their manifest lack of moral courage, they are not the ones to blame. Hanevy’s ordeal is sanctioned by the highest authorities in Mauritania: General Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz. The system Mauritanians live under is such that he, and he alone, has the power of life and death on anyone foolish enough to cross him.
Buckle your seat belts and cross your finger.