Mauritania: strong protests following the death of a young black man, after his arrest by the police

Mauritania shaken by riots. Earlier this week, cities in the Islamic Republic saw strong protests, with a protester killed in the south of the country. These movements follow the death of a young black Mauritanian in Nouakchott on Sunday 28 May. This young man's name was Oumar Diop, he died after being arrested by the police.

A police patrol in Nouakchott (illustration image). AFP Photo/Sia Kambou

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It was on the night of Sunday to Monday in the Sebkha district, that the young Oumar Diop was arrested by the police. In their version, the police explain having caught a fight in which the young man was violently manhandled by three other people, who fled when the police arrived. According to the agents, Oumar Diop was under the influence of psychotropic drugs, they took him to the central police station of Sebkha for investigation.

It was two hours later that the young man complained of "shortness of breath", he was transferred to the national hospital, where his health deteriorated rapidly before he died. In response, riots broke out in Nouakchott, but also in the economic city of Nouadhibou, as well as in Boghé.

In this southern city, according to Interior Minister Mohamed Ahmed Ould Mohamed Lemine, a protester died after trying to attack the police station. The public prosecutor says that an investigation has been opened to clarify the circumstances of Oumar Diop's death. He will present the final report of the autopsy as soon as all the elements are gathered.

► Read also: Mauritania: "The presence of black executives in the administration is almost zero"

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