Mauritanian president threatens to silence critics online

Mauritania president threatens to pass law to silence critics on social media
1 min read
The Mauritanian leader said some people were using the internet to cause harm to the country, warning that they would be prosecuted.
Ghazouani made the announcement during a visit to the border town of Rosso [AFP/Getty Images]

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani threatened on Monday to pass legislation which would silence his critics on social media.

Ghazouani made the announcement during a visit to the border town of Rosso, where he said that some people were using the internet in negative ways to harm the country's security.

"The internet is a technological revolution that the world is benefiting from… (however) its exploitation in destabilising civil peace, promoting false rumours, inciting groups of our people against each other and spreading hatred is unacceptable," he said.

He warned that those who use the internet for such means "will regret it".

Relevant authorities in Mauritania are currently working on improving legislation that could put an end to what Ghazouani described as a "destructive phenomenon".

However, he went on to say that, despite any possible laws that would clamp down on these internet users, there would be no violation of public freedoms guaranteed by the constitution.

Ghazouani's remarks echoed the voices of others in the Mauritanian government, who often accuse social media activists of harming the country's security.

According to local media, Mauritanian police have arrested several people in recent days over social media posts.