Jaafar believes that the ministry’s threat to correspondents proves that the authorities want to shut down any debate on this topic:
Without George Floyd, this incident might have gone unreported. The security forces here make a habit of assaulting citizens during arrests. Even this time, blogs with close links to the authorities justified this brutal arrest by saying that the man was a criminal who had attacked the officers before trying to flee. They even posted photos that they claimed showed how one of the officers had sustained a hand injury.
Hamid Oueld Mohammed, who has 38,000 Facebook followers, posted a photo that he claims shows the injured hand of one of the police officers who was allegedly attacked by the arrestee.
Other pro-authorities bloggers, like Mohamed Lamine Abd Eddayem, claimed that the security forces were victims of a smear campaign.
‘Is this young man dead? No, he isn’t dead. This is [just] a method used to arrest thieves, whether they are white or black. It isn’t reasonable to compare this image with what happened to George Floyd. And it’s a crime to compare Mauritania with the United States,’ reads a post written by a blogger who Jaafar says has close links to the police.
Police arrested the person who took the photo of the incident, according to Mauritanian news site Al-Akhbar.
“It’s a warning to anyone who tries to film similar scenes in the future,” says Jaafar.
The Mauritanian Ministry of the Interior sent the FRANCE 24 Observers team a document stating that the two officers had been transferred to the far east of the country in the wake of this brutal arrest.
According to a source in the same Ministry, who wished to remain anonymous, officials considered the incident an “internal affair” and their decision to transfer the officers to be just an “ordinary procedure”.
Several social-media users with close links to the Mauritanian government, like Hamid Oueld Mohammed, posted on Facebook that the officers were jailed for three days before being transferred.
A document signed by the Director General of Mauritanian National Security, Mesgharou Ould Sidi, and published by the Mauritanian news site Nawafedh, states that the two police officers involved were transferred to districts in the far east of the country.
Article by Omar Tiss.