Two legal practitioners, Lô Gourmo Abdoul and Moulay El Ghaly Ould Moulay Ely, lawyers for Khatou Mint El Boukhary Foundation, named after the wife of deposed president Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheik Abdallah, were arrested on October 6, 2008 in Southern Mauritania by the Border Police and prevented from travelling to neighbouring Senegal.
They were however released after three hours.
Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) correspondent reported that Abdul is an executive member of the Union of Progressive Forces, and a leading member of the National Front for the Defence of Democracy (FNDD) that opposed the August 6, 2008 coup d’etat.
The police who released the two lawyers gave no reason for the arrest except to say that they had received orders from ‘above’ to prevent the two lawyers from crossing the border.
After their release, Abdul told the press that the ruling Junta is suspected to have prepared a list of 200 citizens who would be prevented from leaving Mauritania.
As part of the campaign to crack down on groups opposed to the August 6, 2008 coup, the police also used tear gas and batons to disperse a peaceful protest march held on October 5, 2008 in Nouakchott by the FNDD, comprising up of Mauritanian political parties opposed to the coup.