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September 21 2016

The Latest Statement from rapper, Yëro Gaynääko

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“One month later and nothing has been done.

On August 16, 2016, I suffered a humiliating and brutal assault by members of the gendarmerie. With the support of the Forum of National Organisations for Human Rights (FONADH), I lodged a complaint on August 17, 2020 at Nouakchott Northern District court under the number 839. The prosecutor, after having taken note, referred us to Toujinine gendarmerie for investigation. There I was asked to provide a witness. Unfortunately, the only witness I could provide was on the bus with me from Boghé on the day of the incident, who also became a victim or harassment when he spoke out against my treatment. Since the filing of the complaint, there has been no noticeable progress and my inquiries for update have not been successful. I have not withdrawn the complaint and I will pursue the procedure despite systemic or intentionally induced delays intended to discourage me. This approach is a way for me to let the Mauritanian justice system face up to its responsibilities.” - 
Yëro Gaynääko, 19 September 2016

Mauritania's Constitution guarantees freedom of expression and the protection of all citizens against persecution. However, this case once again demonstrates the fragility of freedom of expression in this country, especially when it comes to Hip Hop and Rap which are the most popular forms of expression among the youth. Artwatch Africa, the advocacy and lobbying project of Arterial Network, calls for the Mauritanian authorities to respect artist rights to freedom of creative expression, by following the laws that are already in place. The unjustified use of violence and force are unacceptable measures to be used in the pursuit of justice and peace.

To read more about the original incident, click here.

Photo: Yëro Gaynääko in his music video for Allegorie de la Caserne

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