Mauritania escalates detentions against Islamists
Mauritania, Politics, 5/30/2003
Several opposition parties in Mauritania have organized a massive demonstration after the authorities detained several teachers and employees working at a Saudi Islamic institute in Nouakchott belonging to the Islamic Muhammad Bin Saud University in Riyadh.
News reports in Mauritania said that these detentions fall in the course of a campaign launched by Mauritania's authorities against the al-Salafeyah trend (predestination) in the country as well as certain leaderships of the Islamic movement of the trend which is close to the Muslim brotherhood.
Al-Salek Seidi Mahmoud of the opposition democratic forces said in a press statement that "harsh dealing" is used by the government with moderate forces, known for being deprived of the right to political participation, instead of resorting to dialogue with it.
On the other hand, Mauritania's prime minister Sheikh al-Afeya Weld Muhammad Khouna strongly criticized these opposition movements. He said he condemns terrorism in all its forms, regardless to its sources. He called for an international cooperation to fight it.
News reports said the number of the detainees exceeds 60 persons with no one of them submitted to the court since the beginning of the campaign. The news reports added that the Islamists and the opposition parties recently intensified their campaigns of protest, calling for bringing the detainees before a just trial or releasing them and halting the official media campaign which distorts the image of the opposition.
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