Amadou Tidjane Diop spoke with IRA USA today from his prison cell in Dar Na-im prison, Nouakchott. Dar Na-im is the general prison for violent offenders. He reports that he was not beaten, but many among the IRA prisoners suffered immensely from repeated beatings by the police.
The IRA prisoners were brought to court in the middle of the night/very early morning Monday July 11 – Tuesday July 12th. They were indicted on charges of endangering national security, belonging to a non-recognized organization, impeding officers of the police from doing their work, and inciting violence against the police. After the indictment they were transferred to Dar Na-im.
According to Diop, Dar Na-im is disgusting, dirty and unhealthy, but the conditions are better than their detention with the police. Diop was arrested June 30th, and spent more than a week in a dank cell at the police holding location.
The prisoners were charged as criminals, rather than with civil charges. They were also charged via the “inflagrante delicto” process. This means that the state maintains they were seized in the very act of committing the crimes for which they were charged. The IRA prisoners, however, were almost all arrested at their homes or places of work, so it is difficult to understand how this inflagrante delicto process can lead to convictions. This process also mandates that the accused be brought to trial within 30 days.
Boubacar Messaoud, President of SOS-esclaves and member of the National Torture Mechanism commission, has protested the police violence against the prisoners as a violation of Mauritania’s 2015 law against torture.
Moussa Biram appeared in court on Tuesday morning with bruises on his hands and feet. He is also urinating blood according to his lawyer, who reports Moussa is being regularly beaten on his feet. His lawyer, Maitre Ould Mbareck, demanded that the prosecutor file an investigation request, but the prosecutor refused to do this. Therefore Maitre Ould Mbareck has filed a complaint directly. The National Commission on Torture thus far denies receiving any reports about torture.