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Statement on the State Department’s 2019 Human Rights Report on Mauritania.

The Mauritanian Network for Human Rights in the US. • Feb 03, 2021

It is with great concern that we read the US Department of State’s 2019 Human Rights Report on Mauritania, the report states that Mauritania has made great progress when it comes to Human Rights in the year 2019, by citing a free and fair elections in the June 22nd 2019 elections, among other gains cited by the state department report, included but were not limited to, no arbitrary killings, no disappearances, no torture and inhuman treatments to Mauritanian citizens, no arbitrary detentions...

As a Mauritanian Human Rights organization, with credible sources both in the US and on the ground in Mauritania, we are here to state, that the statements of human rights progress listed in this report could not be further from the truth and is far from the daily reality of Black Mauritanians. In the year 2019 Mauritania made very little progress, toward ensuring and preserving human rights for all Mauritanians, if at all.

In the years 2019 Mauritanians witnessed one of the most contested non-transparent elections in Mauritanian history, after the 2019 elections, oppositions leaders and prominent journalists, were “kidnaped” taken from their homes and arrested by the state police, and their families did not know of their whereabouts for days on end. Further to stop demonstrations after the election, the Mauritanian authorities detained without charge, dozens of opposition activists, releasing most but sentencing many others to prison terms, most arrested activists were beaten and tortured in the most horrible ways.

While Ghazaouani has promised to be a reformist, it is sad to say that he has continued the same racial based policies and systems of governance than his predecessors.

In the year 2019 the wealth gap continued to widen between Black Mauritanians and their Beydan/Arab counterparts. Since its independence on 28 November 1960, Mauritania has put in place a system of exclusion of its black population, promoting the affirmation of an exclusively Arab identity with a complete negation of the country’s African foundations, and the year 2019 was not an exception.

While we realize that nations such as the United States have their interests as priority, when dealing with other countries, it is crucial for the credibility of the United States and it Embassies on the ground, to report human rights abuse when it is seen on a daily basis, because that is the only way to encourage and foster change in the developing countries, and to spread American values of human right and justice for all, for the birth of a fairer and better world for all, as the Great MLK used to say, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Thank you,

The Mauritanian Network for Human Rights in the US.

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