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Mauritania: Jailed Editor Pardoned

(Apr. 16, 2009) According to the organization Reporters Without Borders, on April 8, 2009, the head of Mauritania's military government, General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, pardoned the editor of a weekly magazine, the Arabic-language publication AL-AQSA. Abdel Fettah Ould Abeidna had been jailed in Nouakchott, Mauritania's capital city, after extradition to Mauritania from Dubai; he had been sentenced to one year of imprisonment, for criminal libel. The charge stemmed from a news report in which he had linked a Mauritanian businessman, Mohamed Ould Bouamtou, to the international trade in cocaine. In all, 68 prisoners were pardoned this month, following a visit to prisons in Noakchott by Mauritanian Minister of Justice Bal Amadou Tidiane. (Press Release, Reporters Without Borders, Jailed Newspaper Editor Pardoned by Junta Chief (Apr. 10, 2009), available at