242/01 Interights, Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa, and Association mauritanienne des droits de l'Homme / Mauritania Summary of Facts 1. The complaint was submitted by INTERIGHTS, Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa, and Association mauritanienne des droits de lâHomme (Mauritanian Human Rights Association), on behalf of Mr Ahmed Ould Daddah, Secretary General of Union des forces d?(C)mocratiques-Ere nouvelle (UFD/EN, Union of Democratic Forces-New Era), a Mauritanian political party, which was established on 2nd October 1991. 2. The Complainants, mandated by Mr Ahmed Ould Daddah, allege the following facts. By Decree No. 2000/116.PM/MIPT, dated 28th October 2000, Union des forces d?(C)mocratiques/Ere nouvelle (UFD/EN), the main opposition party in Mauritania, led by Mr Ahmed Ould Daddah was dissolved by the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Mr Cheick El Avia Mohamed Khouna. 3. This measure, taken pursuant to Mauritanian law, (in particular Article 11 × Article 11: Parties and political groups shall work together for the formation of the expression of the political will. They shall be formed and shall engage in their activities freely, provided that they respect democratic principles and that, through their objectives or by their actions, they not undermine the national sovereignty, the territorial integrity and the unity of the Nation and of the Republic. The law shall determine the conditions for the creation, the functioning and the dissolution of political parties. and Article 18 × Article 18: Every citizen has the duty of protecting and safe-guarding the independence of the country, its sovereignty and the integrity of its territory. Treason, espionage, and defecting to the enemy as well as all infractions committed with prejudice to the security of the State shall be punished with all the rigor of the law. of the Mauritanian Constitution, and Ordinance No.91.024 of 25 July 1991 which deals with political parties in Articles 4, 25 and 26), was imposed, according to this senior official, following a series of actions and undertakings committed by the leaders of this political organisation, and which: • were damaging to the good image and interests of the country; • incited Mauritanians to violence and intolerance; and • led to demonstrations which compromised public order, peace and security. 4. On account of this, all the movable and immovable assets of the said political organisation were, ipso jure, seized. 5. A few weeks after the proscription of UFD/EN, the Mauritanian authorities arrested several leaders of the party who had participated in a demonstration against the measure, which they considered illegal and illegitimate, for breach of public order. 6. The Secretary General of the party, Mr Ould Daddah, on arrival from a journey abroad, was himself arrested on 9th December 2000, at Nouakchott airport, and was only released a few days later. 7. On 25th December 2000, the leaders of UFD/EN filed a motion for the repeal of the governmentâs measure before the Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court, citing: • Lack of a just cause for the dissolution Decree; • The unjustified nature of the punishment of a political party due to the alleged machinations of its leaders; • Lack of competence on the part of the authority by whom the Decree was signed; and • Absence of any deliberation by the Council of Ministers on the matter of the dissolution, as foreseen 1

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