Mauritania: Parliament adopts a law relaxing creation of associations in the country

No more prior administrative authorization is required to create associations in Mauritania as was the case since 1964. A declaration of creation is now sufficient. The former regime was considered by human rights organizations to be liberticidal, as it served as a pretext for the authorities to repress the leaders of unrecognized associations.

Mauritania has hundreds of associations that have never been accredited. This is the case of the association Touche pas à ma nationalité. “All our demonstrations were repressed in blood,” recalls its secretary general Dia Alassane. “One of our activists was murdered by the gendarmerie during a repressed march in Maghama on 27 September 2011, we deserve to be recognized and to be able to carry out our activities legally”.

Biram Dah Abeid, the leader of the IRA abolitionist movement, spent two years in prison along with several other cadres for membership of an unauthorized organization. “Mauritania has come a long way, civil liberties have come a long way. We believe that the human rights movements will regain momentum, will have space before them to accelerate the awareness of the Mauritanian people and the democratization of Mauritania”.

The opposition parliamentarian Kadiata Malick Diallo, however, believes it is still too early to claim victory. “The Interior minister first has the power to refuse to give a receipt. Then, to request the suspension of an association, because it is he who appreciates it. The problems are still there”.

The deputies of the ruling Union for the Republic, for their part, describe this new text as “a decisive step on the road to democracy”.

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