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Mauritania

    June 25, 2013

    Posted at 0001 hrs GMT  26 June 2013

    Police in Mauritania are using torture to coerce men, women and children to confess to crimes while in custody, Amnesty International said after a 10-day research mission.

    The delegation in Mauritania interviewed around 60 detainees, including women and children, held in three prisons in the capital, Nouakchott.

    “Prisoners, including men held on ordinary and terrorism-related charges, spoke to us about the torture they had faced while in police custody. Many had been tried in grossly unfair procedures and some were subjected to enforced disappearance,” said Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada English Branch, who was part of the delegation.

    Eleven children told Amnesty International’s delegates they had been tortured in police stations, including at the Brigade des Jeunes, a police post in Mauritania’s capital with a specific mandate to deal with juvenile offenders.

    April 05, 2013

    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.

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