Journalist sentenced again

A brief update on Hanefi Ould Dehah, the Mauritanian journalist whose case I reported last December. After completing a six-month sentence for "indecency", Ould Dedah – editor of theTaqadoumy news website – was not released but continued to be held in jail illegally.

At a new trial on Thursday, he was sentenced to a further two years on charges of violating public decency, inciting revolt and “criminal publication”. 

He was initially arrested after former presidential candidate Ibrahima Moctar Sarr accused him of defamation over an article alleging that Sarr used campaign funds to buy a villa.

At his first trial, Ould Dehah was cleared of defamation but convicted of "offending public decency" in connection with a page on Taqadoumy's website which discussed morality and sex education. An article on Huffington Post gives more background.

The campaign in support of Ould Dedah has a Facebook pagehere.

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 6 February 2010.

UPDATE: Ould Dehah was freed on 26 February 2010. He was among 100 prisoners pardoned by president Ould Abdel Aziz to mark the Prophet's birthday.