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Press Statement
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 18, 2008


Mauritanian President Remains in Captivity

The United States reiterates its call for the immediate and unconditional release of Mauritanian President Abdallahi. We strongly support the efforts of the African Union to restore the President to his office and to re-establish constitutional order.

The recent transfer of President Abdallahi from his place of detention in Nouakchott to continued detention in his home village does not constitute a ‘release,’ as it was described by the military junta. President Abdallahi remains deprived of his liberty, and is the only elected president on the continent subjected to such treatment. He is forced now to remain in a village of a few hundred inhabitants located about three hours by car from the capital. Visitors are screened and a small force of police and military personnel are always present.

Our chargé d’affaires in Mauritania visited President Abdallahi on November 17 at his new place of detention to convey our message of support personally and to underscore our solidarity with the Mauritanian people and their democracy. This was the first time since the military junta overthrew the democratically elected government on August 6 that anyone from our embassy has been able to see President Abdallahi, despite several requests to do so.

2008/969

Released on November 18, 2008

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