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ANHRI condemns detention of activist

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 7 February 2012 - ANHRI condemns the Mauritanian authorities for their inexplicable detention of Wan Biran, an activist and coordinator of the Do Not Touch My Nationality movement, on 4 February as he was visiting his brother in the National Hospital.

Do No Touch My Nationality is a movement that rejects racism and demands full equality between citizens. The movement also rejects the exclusion of colored people from the administrative statistics now done by the authorities in Mauritania, which distinguishes citizens on the basis of their skin color.

The activists of this movement have been subjected to harassment on a regular basis by the authorities for their ongoing organization of demonstrations and protests that denounce the practices of the racist state. One of its members was killed by the Mauritanian police, which always addresses these protests with excessive force.

“The arbitrary detention of an activist because of his opinions is a violation of freedom of opinion and expression as guaranteed by Mauritanian law, the constitution and international conventions. The Mauritanian authorities should listen to the opinions opposing their policies rather than resorting to detention and repression,” said ANHRI.

ANHRI calls on the Mauritanian authorities to immediately release the activist Wan Biran and to guarantee freedom of opinion and expression.

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