Committee to Protect Journalists
Country Report: Mauritania
As of December 31, 1998

| Country and Regional Reports | Press Freedom Database | CPJ Home |
Government censorship continued to plague Mauritania's independent press. Regulations require newspapers to submit six copies of each edition to Ministry of Interior censors, who frequently delay distribution of newspaper runs without explanation or under Article 11 of Mauritania's 1991 press ordinance. The ordinance empowers authorities to ban the distribution and sale of any newspaper or periodical deemed detrimental to Islam or state authority, threatening to public order, or defamatory to heads of foreign states. In recent years, Article 11 has been used to punish news reporting on such sensitive topics as slavery in Mauritania, alleged government improprieties, or internal power struggles within the regime.

Journalists resort to self-censorship on political topics, since the loss of revenue resulting from a ban would have serious economic consequences for Mauritania's financially shaky independent papers. In January, authorities placed a three-month ban on the weekly Mauritanie Nouvelles, leading to what one journalist termed its "slow death." The paper had been repeatedly censored in 1997.
Attacks on the Press in Mauritania in 1998
Date Journalist Incident
06/10/98 La Tribune Censored
01/17/98 Sheikh Saad Bou KamaraImprisoned
01/17/98 Brahim Ould Ebety Imprisoned
01/17/98 Boubacar Ould MessaoudImprisoned

| Back to the Top | Attacks on the Press in 1998 |
| Search the Press Freedom Database |