Alert: We demand urgent action to protect Afghanistan's human rights defenders

At a glance

Despite ratifying the Convention against Torture in 2004, Mauritania needs to improve the respect of its international commitments and the human dignity of the person. The repression against human rights defenders and bloggers is an alarming issue. Reliable reports show that a large number of them, mainly anti-slavery activists, have been arbitrarily arrested, sometimes subjected to torture, and prosecuted on vaguely formulated charges. Some of these activists, despite having served their sentences, are still being held indefinitely in administrative detention for security reasons, without the possibility of informing their families of their place of detention. The Human Rights Committee also expressed concern about the persistance of situations of slavery and the difficulties that victims of slavery encounter when filing complaints to assert their rights. Another challenge Mauritania faces is the reported widespread practice of torture - particularly during arrest, police custody and transfers - which appears to be of a systemic nature in the context of terrorist offences. Investigators are unable to conduct thorough investigations and often resort to ill-treatment to extract confessions. The OMCT works, alongside local members of its SOS-Torture Network, for the end to all forms of harassment and repression against human rights activists.

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