IFJ Calls for Release of Journalist and Publisher Held Over Corrupted Judges Story in Mauritania

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called for the release of Mohamed Nema Omar the publisher and Mohamed Ould Abdelatif journalist of the Arab language weekly newspaper Al Houriya.

The two are jailed since 21 July over defamation and insult of three judges.

"This long and painful detention looks like reprisals for our colleagues," said Gabriel Baglo the Director of IFJ Africa office. "We condemn the bad detention conditions of Omar and Abdelatif. We call for their immediate release and a fair trial."

Publisher Mohamed Nema Omar and journalist Mohamed Ould Abdelatif were arrested on 21 July after they published the same day an article accusing three High Court judges involved in corruption. The article authored by Abdelatif said that the judges freed recently two people accused of drug trafficking after they were paid a bribe. The judges lodge a complaint and the pair was charged with "contempt of court, outrage, libel and insult".

On 30 July journalists, editors and publishers gathered at the law court in Nouakchott, the capital city to protest "the abusive detention and bad jailing conditions" of their colleagues. Few time later Omar and Abdelatif appeared before a judge who decide to keep them in jail for more investigation on the case.

According to local journalists Omar and Abdelatif stopped a hunger strike they started on 28 July over their bad condition of detention and the death threats they received from inmates.

For more information contact the IFJ at + 221 33 842 01 43
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 122