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Still held illegally, website editor re-tried on same charge

(RSF/ IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders reiterates its call for the immediate release of Hanevy Ould Dehah, the editor of the website Taqadoumy, and the withdrawal of all the charges against him. Dehah is being retried on the same charges on which he has already served a six-month sentence. The trial opened on 1 February 2010 and the next hearing is scheduled for 4 February.

The court is acting as if last summer's trial never took place. It has ordered the prosecutor's office to correct procedural errors denounced by Dehah's lawyer, but it has not ruled on his arbitrary detention or, as yet, the substance of the case.

"The authorities need to realise that they are being monitored closely both within Mauritania and abroad," Reporters Without Borders said. "They must demonstrate the independence of their judicial system by clearing Dehah and restoring his freedom."

Dehah should have been released on 24 December 2009 on completing a six-month sentence on a trumped-up charge of "offending public decency" but the authorities, who are clearly bent on persecuting him, have continued to hold him in a manifestly illegal manner ever since.

Reporters Without Borders interviews in French with Hacen Ould Lebatt, the editor of the French section of the Taqadoumy website, on 8 January 2010 and Brahim Ould Ebety, Dehah's lawyer, on 13 January can be viewed here: http://www.rsf.org/Website-editor-still-held-three.html

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