On the 16th of August 2016, while en route to Nouakchott, the young Mauritanian rapper Yéro Abdoulaye Sow, aka Yëro Gaynääko, was stopped by the police. The policemen proceeded to pull him out of the car and accuse the singer of being drugged. "I was coming from Boghé after a 2-day conference that I hosted on ‘Rap and Resistance’ and I had not slept enough. My eyes were red and I didn’t look fresh because of fatigue," Yëro Gaynääko explained.
Following the harassment on the road, the policemen took Yëro Gaynääko by force to the police station, where he was assaulted and verbally abused. "They undressed me in front of all the police and other inmates. Then they took my laptop and my glasses. After that, they started to spit and slap me." Yëro Gaynääko was then released without any explanation a few hours later.
Back in Nouakchott, the young rapper has lodged an official complaint about this unnecessary and unjustified violence. Human Rights Organisations in Mauritania, led by the Forum of National Human Rights Organizations (FONADH), published a press release on the 18th of August, to denounce this clear violation of his rights.
Yëro Gaynääko is an outspoken Mauritanian rapper. His latest song release, Allegory of Fire, reflects on recent racist conflicts experienced in some African countries and also challenges the rise of radical islam and terrorism.
To read more about the case, click here.
Image Courtesy of Limam Kane
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