RSF decries police violence against three reporters covering protest in Mauritania

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns police violence against three reporters, including RSF’s own correspondent, that prevented them from covering a demonstration organised by doctors in Nouakchott, the Mauritanian capital on 7 May. The organisation calls on the government to guarantee journalists’ safety.


The three reporters who were prevented from covering the doctors’ demonstration included Mohamed Ould Islam, a photographer with the independent news agency Alakhbar, and Saleck Zeid, the director of the investigative news website Taqassy, who is also RSF’s correspondent in Mauritania.  

They said to RSF they were manhandled by police officers, who took their phones and cameras and held on to them for several hours before returning them.


“Journalists must be able to cover demonstrations without fear of being targeted by the police. Their job to report the news must be protected, not obstructed. We have noted several cases of police violence against reporters and press photographers in recent months. This must stop, and the Mauritanian authorities must not only guarantee journalists’ right to work without fear but also treat their protection as an absolute priority.

Khaled Drareni
RSF’s North Africa representative

“The police make no distinction between demonstrators, reporters and photographers. It’s the duty of the police to maintain order and it’s journalists’ duty to cover what is happening in the field. The government must issue urgent directives to the police to stop obstructing journalists who are doing their job. These attacks undermine press freedom.

Saleck Zeid
Journalist and RSF’s correspondent in Mauritania

Mauritania rose significantly in RSF’s 2024 World Press Freedom Index as a result of legislative and political improvements, but RSF has registered several cases of obstruction and police violence during protests in recent months.

AlMoustakila news agency reporter Mohamed Amine Abdouni and cameraman Mohamed Amine Othmane were beaten by police and prevented from covering a student protest in Nouakchott in March. Two months earlier, in January, police seized Al-Akhbar news agency reporter Aldjid Mohamed Aïssa’s phone when he filmed a previous student protest in Nouakchott.

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