A blogger illegally held incommunicado
Media freedom has declined dramatically in Mauritania since 2014 after several years of great progress. Under a law passed in November 2017, apostasy and blasphemy are punishable by death even when the offender repents. The law was prompted by the case of Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed Mkhaitir, a blogger arrested in January 2014. His initial death sentence for apostasy was finally commuted to two years in prison, and he should have been freed in November 2017. Instead he is being held incommunicado. Fear of reprisals makes most journalists censor themselves when covering subjects such as corruption, the military, Islam or slavery, which still exists in Mauritania. A foreign journalist who was investigating slavery, a subject that is completely off limits, was expelled in March 2018. It was the second such case in the space of a year. Financial pressure is used to reinforce censorship. In October 2017, the authorities suspended five privately-owned TV and radio stations for allegedly failing to pay overdue taxes.
72 in 2018
29.09 in 2018