Mauritania

Sahrawi refugee Fetim Salam Hamdi has been portrayed as a slave in a poorly translated documentary film. But Ms Hamdi insists she is a free woman and now goes to court to stop the film's screening. The Australian documentary film "Stolen", shot in the Algeria-based refugee camps housing over 100,000 Sahrawi refugees last year, portrays the Ms Hamdi as a slave.

Protesting dock workers in Mauritania Thursday clashed with the riot police in Nouakchott, the nation's capital, leaving many workers injured. The Police used teargas and batons to disperse the workers, who in turn retaliated by throwing sticks and stones.

The mining and port city of Nouadhibou, 465 kilometres from Nouakchott, on Saturday afternoon was to host rallies planned by both the ruling party and the opposition. The Coordination of Democratic Opposition (COD), an umbrella of a dozen political parties, announced it would hold a big rally on Saturday in Nouadhibou, the economic capital of Mauritania.

Hanevy Ould Dehah, the editor of the website Taqadoumy, was finally freed along with around 100 ordinary offenders under a presidential pardon issued in honour of Mawlid (the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday). “We welcome Dehah’s release after eight months of unjustified detention,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The president seems to have heard the appeals from Mauritanian journalists and the international community. We thank them for interceding.”

Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the harsh, two-year jail sentence which a court passed yesterday on Hanevy Ould Dehah, the editor of the website Taqadoumy, at the end of an incomprehensible and arbitrary trial.

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