Sunday, June 29, 2014

Death threat against Global Media Monitoring Project Mauritania coordinator: A call to action

International Ambassadors of the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) are greatly concerned about the safety of the Mauritanian GMMP national coordinator Ms. Aminetou Mint El Moctar.

According to information from the International Federation for Human Rights, the leader of a radical Muslim group “Ahbab Errassoul” (“Friends of the Prophet”) Mr. Yadhih Ould Dahi issued a fatwa on June 6, 2014 calling for her death. Ms. Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls, Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, and Ms. Jennifer Lee together with WACC General Secretary Dr. Karin Achtelstetter call upon the GMMP network to express their solidarity in support of Aminetou Mint El Moctar.

 Ms. Aminetou Mint El Moctar is a decorated human rights activist. She chairs the Association of female heads of household (l’Association des femmes chefs de famille), a non-governmental organisation that promotes human rights and defends the rights of women and children in Mauritania.

She is the country coordinator of the Global Media Monitoring Project in Mauritania. In 2009, Aminetou Mint Moctar spearheaded highly visible public campaigns to denounce trafficking of young Mauritanian girls to Gulf States and the exploitation of Mauritanian and West African women living in domestic servitude. Because of the work of Ms. Mint Moctar and others like her, the Government of Mauritania now recognizes the existence of these practices.

 The threat called for the killing and gouging out the eyes of Moctar after she spoke to the mass media about the general situation of human rights in the country and the particular case of Mohamed Ould M’kheitir. M’kheitir has been in detention since December 2013 after being accused of apostasy. Moctar called for a fair trial for M’kheitir while making it very clear that she does not condone insults against the Prophet. Dr. Kanyoro commenting on the situation underlines the hazards women human rights defenders encounter in the course of their work: “Women human rights defenders face additional risks because of the very nature of the problems they work to address, which require questioning and transforming social norms and taboos”.

Read the rest of the statement here