Women in Mauritania who press charges for sexual assault face the risk of jail time because of poorly defined laws and stigma that criminalise victims rather than offenders, according to a local UN-funded non-profit. The subject of rape is still so taboo in Mauritania that there is no mention of it in the law and the word is absent from government documents, according to the NGO Mauritanian Association for Maternal and Child Health, based in the capital Nouakchott.

Reporters Without Borders has condemned an attempted murder of the editor of the independent Arab-language daily, El Wattan, and radio presenter Mohamed Ould Zeine in Mauritania. Mr Ould Zeine was allegedly attacked by two men with baseball bats and knives on the evening of 12 May. He reportedly suffered very serious injuries to his left hand.

Six candidacies have met the deadline to submit their papers to the Mauritania's Constitutional Council, and are now set to contest the 6 June presidential elections in the country, official sources told PANA. Gen. Mohamed Ould Aziz, leader of the military junta that overthrew democratically-elected President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi last August, was the first to submit his papers.

Any initiative to resolve the crisis in Mauritan ia must ensure that the coup of 6 August 2008 fails by stopping the execution of the electoral agenda of the junta, the National Front for the Defence of Democracy (FNDD) said on Thursday. Reacting to a proposal by Senegal to organise, in Dakar, a round table to find solutions to the Mauritanian political crisis, FNDD demanded an end to the electoral process that would lead to the presidential polls planned for 6 June and the r elease of more

The police fired several canisters of tear gas to disperse opposition protesters in Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania, late on Thursday. The demonstration was held in response to the call by the National Front for the Defence of Democracy (FNDD), which is opposed to the 6 August 2008 military coup, on Mauritanians to resist the coup.