To be honest, I was determined not to blog for a variety of reasons but I changed my mind. Why?
My friend Hanevy Ould Dahah, the director of Taqadoumy.com, Mauritania’s leading news website, has been sitting in jail for 6 months. His sentence was up on December 24 but the authorities refuse to release him in a clear sign of things to come under the rule of General Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz. Needless to say that folks back home are understandably FURIOUS
He was convicted for a so-called “publishing indecent content” after the authorities tried to pin a host of charges carrying a sentence of 5 years in jail. Either way, it is clear that Mauritania is a country where laws have no meaning.
His case was adopted by all of Mauritania’s civil society actors and the petition demanding his release is a collection of all what the country has: former presidents, heads of political parties, journalists..and yes, ordinary citizens.
This is why I decided blogging. Hanevy’s case is not just another blogger/journalist thrown away for political reasons. His is one that will have profound implications for the country: if General Aziz doesn’t feel any push back for his treatment of a journalist, he is certainly going to assume that he is free to repress any dissenting voice without fear of any consequences. Let’s say that this is THE test case for the future of civil rights in the tiny, often forgotten, nation of Mauritania.