Mauritania designates its National Preventive Mechanism

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mauritania has announced the composition of its new National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) and becomes the second country in North Africa to set up a body to visit places of deprivation of liberty. The APT congratulates Mauritania to this important step in implementing its obligations under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT).

Mauritania ratified the OPCAT in October 2012, and enacted the law to establish the NPM on September 30, 2015. The new body is composed of a Chairperson and 12 members, which were appointed by the President of the Republic among 24 candidates chosen by a selection committee. The new NPM is chaired by Dr. Mohamed Lemine Ould Haless and includes representatives of different professional groups such as doctors, lawyers and members from civil society and academia. Five of the 12 members are women.

In February, the APT organised, together with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nouakchott and the Mauritanian Commissioner for Human Rights and Humanitarian Action, a workshop with the selection committee on the legal and operational aspects of the NPM mandate.

The appointment of members is an important first step, which must be quickly followed by operational measures so that the NPM can implement its preventive mandate. The APT will continue to support Mauritania in this process.