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Attacks on the Press in 1998 - Mauritania

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 1999
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1998 - Mauritania, February 1999, available at: [accessed 18 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

As of December 31, 1998

Government censorship continued to plague Mauritania's independent press. Regulations require newspapers to submit six copies of each edition to Ministry of Interior censors, who frequently delay distribution of newspaper runs without explanation or under Article 11 of Mauritania's 1991 press ordinance. The ordinance empowers authorities to ban the distribution and sale of any newspaper or periodical deemed detrimental to Islam or state authority, threatening to public order, or defamatory to heads of foreign states. In recent years, Article 11 has been used to punish news reporting on such sensitive topics as slavery in Mauritania, alleged government improprieties, or internal power struggles within the regime.

Journalists resort to self-censorship on political topics, since the loss of revenue resulting from a ban would have serious economic consequences for Mauritania's financially shaky independent papers. In January, authorities placed a three-month ban on the weekly Mauritanie Nouvelles, leading to what one journalist termed its "slow death." The paper had been repeatedly censored in 1997.

Attacks on the Press in Mauritania in 1998

06/10/98La TribuneCensored
01/17/98Sheikh Saad Bou KamaraImprisoned
01/17/98Brahim Ould EbetyImprisoned
01/17/98Boubacar Ould MessaoudImprisoned
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