Amnesty International has confirmed that Canadian citizen Aaron Yoon is detained at a prison in Nouakchott, Mauritania. An Amnesty International researcher interviewed him in prison during an Amnesty International mission to the country in July 2012.
At that time Mr. Yoon very clearly indicated that he did not want Amnesty International to take up or campaign on his case. Amnesty International respects the wishes of prisoners with respect to what action they do or do not want the organization to take on their behalf. As a result we have not campaigned on Mr. Yoon’s case in any way.
Amnesty International has since confirmed that Mr. Yoon was brought to trial on terrorism-related charges in the summer of 2012 and sentenced to a two year prison sentence, beginning from the time of his arrest in December 2011. As such he should be slated for release in December 2013.
While Amnesty International has not taken action on Mr. Yoon’s case the organization has reported and campaigned extensively with respect to serious human rights concerns related to arrests and trials of individuals on counter-terrorism charges in Mauritania, including that many such arrests are arbitrary, trials do not meet international fair trial standards, and torture and ill-treatment is commonplace.
For other information, please read this article in the Toronto Star.