Ten-day internet shutdown lifted
On the 3rd of July, Mauritanian authorities lifted their ban on the internet shutdown. The Ministry of the Interior reportedly ordered the shutdown for security reasons, although activists and human rights groups believe the real aim was to prevent the opposition from mobilizing protesters.
The government first disrupted access to mobile internet around mid-day local time on June 23, according to the Media Foundation for West Africa. Forty-eight hours later, they also disrupted access to fixed line connections.
The disruptions affected Mauritania’s internet service providers: Mauritel, Chinguitel and Mattel. The companies did not provide a reason for the disruptions or notify their users before they took place.
Also, one of the two arrested journalists was released on July 3. Seydi Moussa Camaras is the director of publishing for the weekly independent newspaper La Nouvelle Expression. He spent a week in detention before he was released on July 3. According to Reporters Without Borders, state security agencies accused him of disputing the election results during phone calls:
RSF has learned that the state security agents who arrested Moussa at his home, seizing all of the mobile phones and laptops there, accused him of disputing the election results during phone conversations, suggesting that his calls had been tapped.
According to human rights groups, Al-Wadea, known for criticising the outgoing president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who was also arrested on the 26th of June, remains in detention in an undisclosed location. It remains unclear which charges he faces.