Mauritania is located in West Africa and bordered by Atlantic Ocean and expands in between Morocco and Algeria, in the south by Senegal, at East by Mali. The population is 3.9 million inhabitants. It covered an area of 1030700 km².The country economy is based on natural resources and agriculture and fishing but the country is as many country in African depend on foreign aid although the country exports mineral resources such as: iron ore, gold, copper, phosphate, uranium, crude oil and natural gas.
Overview of Media & FOE Environment
The country had gained its independence from France colonial control in 1960, 28th July. From 1964 the country was ruled under one-party state party authority. From 1978 to 1989 several coup d’état occurred, subjugating the country under militaries authority and minorities discrimination. Later on, political opposition parties were legalized and the country voted a new constitution, in 2007 a first democratic presidential election was organized and a year later, the elected president was ousted. A recent presidential election was held in 2014.
Freedom of expression is denied, imprisonment of journalist, human rights activists and trade unionist are common in the country. The guarantees of fundamental freedom of expression do not exist as such. Intimidation from local and governmental authorities’ compelled with forbidding of demonstration. Death penalty does apply on person accused of apostasy. The authoritarian modes of government do prevail some ways in the country as though in military regime.
Legal Framework for Media Operation
Although democratic election had been held in the country, the legal environment of freedom of expression, of thought and opinion and media activities are comprised to restriction. The article 10 of the Mauritania constitution guarantees these freedoms. Individual are however free to criticise the government but are sometimes subjected to retaliation. The judicial system is manipulated by the execution and the application of sharia determines mostly sentences. Journalist practises auto-censorship and content restrictions of fear of imprisonment as well as death penalty. Violence, harassment are exerted. The CNDH an organization which includes civil and government representatives monitored human rights violations. The HAPA is in the charge of the regulation of media and press sector in Mauritania. Few private radios and TV channels exist since 2012.