MAURITANIA: Newspaper journalist arrested

Two journalists working for the Mauritanian newspaper Assiraje were arrested on Tuesday night upon leaving the office. No legal warrants were served during the arrest.

The police took the two journalists to the National Security headquarters, where Sayyed Ould Abed al-Malek was realeased but Mohammad Salem Ould Mahmoudo remained in custody. Mohammad Salem is a contributor to MENASSAT.

Both are well-known journalists in Mauritania; no immediate reason was given for the arrests.

Assiraje newspaper issued a statement protesting the arrest of Mohammad Salem.

"Assiraje strongly denounces the illegal arrest [of Mohammad Salem;]
- demands his immediate and unconditional release;
- holds the authorities responsible for putting his life in danger, especially since he is in bad health and needs to follow a strict diet;
- calls upon the media, human rights and national political organizations to denounce all kinds of arbitrary arrest against journalists;
- is committed to continue its editorial line concerning matters of the state and the nation."