Protesting for Justice Fri 1 June 2012 #Mauritania


Youth in Mauritania are planning a march on 1 June 2012 after Friday prayers at Ibn Abbas mosque* in Nouakchott a second phalanx will leave from the Arafat district, both headed to the Supreme Court.

(Former) Chief Justice Ghilani of Mauritania

This can be seen as a show of support for the indiscriminate decision last week to replace Chief Justice Ould Ghilani almost three years before his five-year tenure was up, and reassign him as Ambassador to Yemen. Things came to a head on Sunday when Ghilani showed up at the Supreme Court and was denied access by a special unit of the guard. Several of his co-workers were also searched and prevented from entering the building. Justice Ghilani promptly took up position on the street outside and offered up two prayers. Despite a new Justice being sworn-in Monday, Ghilani  is refusing to quit his post and the Bar Association is supporting him. The move has been denounced as illegal and an abuse of power by president Aziz.

To add insult to injury, on Tuesday police confiscated both Ghilani’s vehicles – a 4×4 and a runabout, because they were perks.

*Regular visitors may recall that Ibn Abbas mosque courtyard was the scene of two sit-ins organised by the political opposition coalition (COD) during May this year, the first of which was attacked at 3am by police with water cannon, tear gas, sound bombs and batons. As 3am approached during the second sit-in and police showed up with the drugs squad’s sniffer dogs, the COD leadership called the sit-in off. Youth have returned to organising their own protests – during which they get attacked without fail – and COD is on the third leg of a road-trip to more remote regions of the country.

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