World, africa

Mauritanian authorities detain parliamentary candidate

North African country is gearing up to hold parliamentary polls early next month

  | 07.08.2018
Mauritanian authorities detain parliamentary candidate

By Mohamed al-Bakay

NOUAKCHOTT

A Mauritanian rights activist and parliamentary candidate on Tuesday alleged that he had been detained by security forces from his home in Nouakchott.

In a message sent to local media outlets, Biram Ould Obeid said he was awakened by security forces on Tuesday morning before being taken -- without explanation -- to a local police station.

Notably, Ould Obeid, who leads Mauritania’s Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (an NGO devoted to fighting slavery), recently announced his intention to run in Sept. 1 parliamentary polls.

Anadolu Agency was unable to obtain immediate comment from the Mauritanian authorities regarding Ould Obeid’s reported arrest.

The Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement was established in 2008 by Mauritanian rights activists led by Ould Obeid.

Several years ago, the NGO lodged an official request to become a political party, but the request was turned down by Mauritania’s Interior Ministry.

What’s more, the authorities regularly deny the NGO’s frequent requests to organize public demonstrations.

Mauritania is set to hold parliamentary and municipal elections on Sept. 1.

While some opposition figures have questioned the integrity of the electoral process, the government insists that all steps have been taken to ensure that the polls are “free and transparent”.

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