[QODLink]
Archive
Mauritania frees political detainees

The ruling military council of Mauritania has freed 32 political detainees after a comprehensive amnesty decree.

Last Modified: 03 Sep 2005 10:03 GMT
Val gave his first public address as military council chief on Friday

The ruling military council of Mauritania has freed 32 political detainees after a comprehensive amnesty decree.

The head of the ruling Military Council for Justice and Democracy Ali Ould Mohammed Val had declared a "general amnesty to all political prisoners" in the country when he gave his first public address since the 3 August coup.

 

Saleh Ould Hanenna, jailed on charges of orchestrating failed attempts to oust former president Maawiya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya was among the 32 military officers and civilians released late on Friday.

 

Aljazeera's correspondent in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott, said a group of Mauritanian officers loyal to Taya who had opposed the military coup, were also freed.


Val said on Friday the amnesty was open to "all Mauritanians found guilty of political crimes or offences, in order to give them the opportunity to participate in building the country with complete freedom".

Democratisation

He added that the military council was determined to democratise Mauritania, and would bar senior government officials from running in planned elections. 

"The president and members of the Military Council for Justice and Democracy, as well as the prime minister and members of the government, are ineligible [to stand for presidential and legislative elections]"

Ali Ould Mohammed Val, head,
Military Council for Justice and Democracy in Mauritania

He said the military council had committed itself to "creating conditions conducive to a democratic, open and transparent election and restricted its period of government to not more than two years".

Issuing a decree, he said "the president and members of the Military Council for Justice and Democracy, as well as the prime minister and members of the government, are ineligible" to stand for presidential and legislative elections.

The aim is to guarantee "the absolute neutrality of the state apparatus and administration" during an electoral process decided upon in the framework of the democratic transition process, Val said.

Fraud

In another development, the Mauritanian attorney-general announced the prosecution of two Mauritanian central bank senior officials who were accused of fraud involving about $5 million, Aljazeera learned.

The central bank had earlier accused the two officials - the treasury inspector and treasury secretary - of siphoning the money between 1996 and 2001.

The two were arrested about two weeks ago.

Minister in Qatar

Separately, Mauritanian Oil and Energy Minister Mohammed Ali Ould Sidi Muhammad visited Qatar on Friday as part of a tour of Gulf states.

Qatar's Shaikh Tamim met the oil
and energy minister of
Mauritania

Sidi Mohammed met Qatar's heir apparent, Shaikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

He delivered a message from Val addressed to the Qatar Amir Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.

The message dealt with bilateral relations and recent developments in Mauritania.

Earlier, Shaikh Hamad had told Aljazeera that he commended the orientation of the new government in Mauritania, and expressed hope that the military coup would serve as a prelude for a democratic era for its people.

"What is happening in Mauritania is an internal affair, and the statements by its military leaders indicate that the country is heading toward democracy," the Qatari leader said.

He added that the decision to offer asylum to deposed Mauritanian leader Taya would not affect relations between the two countries.

Source:
Aljazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Featured
Critics say unregulated spending on India's elections is subverting the vote.
Libya has seen a blossoming of media outlets, but the media landscape is as polarised as the politics on the streets.
As nuclear age approaches eighth decade, visitors flock to historic bomb craters at New Mexico test sites.
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
join our mailing list