The first hunger strike of the decade in his country is by Mauritania’s Hanevy Ould Dahah, director of news website Taqadoumy.com, after he finished his (illegal) 6-month sentence on December 24, the authorities REFUSE to release him and offer no legal explanation whatsoever.
This case generated a lot of protest in Mauritania and was covered by Aljazeera among others. Mauritanian journalists issued a statement holding the government responsible for Hanevy’s health and organized a protest in front of the UN offices in Nouakchott.
Dahah announced his hunger strike in a letter transmitted by his lawyers explaining his motives:
ورغم أنني مستعد لأن أُسلم روحي ثمنا لإيماني العميق بقيم الديمقراطية ورفضي الذي لا يعرف حدودا لجبروت الديكتاتورية وصلفها فإنني أعلن احتجاجي على السجن التحكمي الذي يعتبر أنكي ضروب الاستبداد، من خلال الدخول ابتداء من اليوم الأحد 27/12/2009 في إضراب مفتوح عن الطعام، إلى أن يرفع عني هذا الظلم، الذي لا يبرره سوي الانتقام مني بسبب موقفي المناوئ للانقلاب، رغم أنه أكثر المواقف التي أتشرف بها في مسيرة نضالي من اجل الحرية
“I am ready to pay with my life for my deep commitment to democratic values, and also [because of] my categorical rejection of dictatorship’s oppression and arrogance, I protest my preventive incarceration which is the cruelest form of tyranny. I enter in an open hunger strike starting today sunday 12/27/2009 until I am freed of this injustice motivated by my opposition to the [Aziz led August 2008] coup. My opposition to the coup is the position I am most proud of through my entire struggle for freedom.”
Today is day 2 of Hanevy’s hunger strike and he is reported to have had a glass of juice only.