Blog posts Justice Mauritanian Campaign

12 Organizations Sign Declaration of Support for Samba Thiam, Mauritanian Opposition Leader

(En français)

We are saddened and very concerned with the resurgence of acts of violence in Mauritania in recent weeks. Following the murder of Abbas Diallo in Winding last month, Mauritania has witnessed its own “George Floyd” moment, where two policemen imitated the shameful and criminal act of the Minnesota police officers by kneeling on the neck of Mr. Diop.

The latest victim of the acts of violence and injustice in Mauritania is President Samba Thiam, the leader of the Progressive Forces for Change (FPC by its initials in French), whose house was subjected to an act of vandalism. On the night of July 10, 2020, some criminals targeted the house of the head of the FPC in Nouakchott, Mauritania, where they violently pulled and disconnected the power supply to his home, before fleeing from the scene. These heinous acts could have caused a fire in Mr. Thiam’ house, and lead to a  loss of life or injuries.

According to President Thiam, in a statement made the following day and widely shared in the press and social media, the incident, which took place shortly after midnight, was meant to be a message, an act of intimidation against his person, because of his outspoken criticism of the Mauritanian government.

Mr. Thiam’s words have a history of annoying those in power in Mauritania. The fact that the police did not even bother to show up and document the damages to his house in order to start an investigation, even after he went to the police station to  file a complaint, shows a lack of interest on their part in finding the perpetrators, and making sure that justice is served.

This is not the first time that the leader of the FPC has experienced such tactics of intimidation. Indeed, during the presidential elections of 2019, President Thiam was apprehended and detained for several days by the Mauritanian authorities with no formal charges, before being released without explanation.

Through this declaration, the following organizations:

  • Express their solidarity and support to President Samba Thiam and demand an immediate investigation to find the perpetrators of such acts and apply the law  to its fullest extent.
  • Remind the Mauritanian government of its sovereign duty to ensure the protection of all citizens, including opposition leaders.
  • Insist that he Mauritanian government follow with all due diligence the evolution of the complaint filed so that justice is served to the victim, as it is  guaranteed by the constitution.

Signed,

MNHRUS (Mauritanian Network for Human Rights in the US)

AIR (African Immigrant Relief)

Ohio Immigrant Alliance

FPC-USA-CANADA

AJD-MR-USA-CANADA

Muritani Min-Njejjittaa (Justice et Responsibiltè contre l’Impunitè)

Al Otro Lado

Mouvement Turban Rouge

RA-Ohio

Tabital Pulaaku Americas

Mauritania-CARE

Youth and Hope, Inc