The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), today, denounced the arrest of ElMaaloum Ould Oubeck- a human rights defender, collective activist and unionist- by the security forces, along with a number of demonstrators on the 13th of October, while they were protesting outside the Ministry of Health owing the poor health services in Mauritania.
Some of Ministry of Health’s guards attacked a protest organized in front of the ministry under the slogan “# بلد_ ينزف (in English: #Country_Bleeding) so as to draw attention to the seriousness of the ministry’s apathy and obfuscation towards the frequent cases of death due to Rift Valley fever. They arrested activist “ElMaaloum Ould Oubeck” together with other 4 activists. The ministry’s guards have distributed the detainees on various police stations in Nouakchott, and prevented them from meeting with relatives until their referral to the public prosecution on October 16, on an accusation of sabotaging public property in flagrante delicto, according to Articles 101, 102,103,104 & 105 of Criminal Code. The 5 activists have been held in the civil prison of Dar Naim so far.
It is worth noting that Al-Maloum Ould Aupec is a prominent human rights defender, and an activist of February 25 Movement (A Mauritanian youth movement calls for change peacefully) in Nouadhibou. Aupec works as a teacher in a secondary school, and he is the head of Nouadhibou Teachers Syndicate. He has a role in defending the rights of Haratins (recent slavery freedmen and freed-women). Ould participated in the first Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security in Jordan during August 2015. Previously, he was arrest on the 1st of September, 2015, on account of taking part in a protest deploring the mistreatment that Mauritanian female workers are suffering in Saudi Arabia.
“ElMaaloum Ould Oubeck and the activists detained for protesting outside the Health Ministry have only exercised their right to express their fears of increasing the cases suffering from Rift Valley fever, and the ministry’s inaction on the disease. It was better for the ministry to issue a press release that responds to the protesters’ demands, and explains the extent of the disease, prevalence, as well as the steps it has taken or should take to eradicate the disease,” said ANHRI.
ANHRI calls on the Mauritanian authorities to urgently release the human rights defender “ElMaaloum Ould Oubeck” along with the other detainees, and to give the citizen space to express their views and fears. It also demands from the ministry to announce the truth concerning the spread of Rift Valley fever, as well as the steps it has taken to eradicate the disease.
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