Lamine Mangane was an 17-year-old human rights activist with “Touche pas à ma nationalité”, an organisation set up to combat discrimination against Afro-Mauritanians.
He was killed on 27 September 2011 after security forces fired live ammunition during a peaceful demonstration organized by “Touche pas à ma nationalité” in Maghama. Other minors were also injured during the same demonstration, one boy was only 9 years old. In 2011 several demonstrations against a new government census to systematize national identity documents, which many feared might lead to arbitrary expulsions and statelessness of Afro-Mauritanians, were violently repressed.
After Lamine’s killing, the authorities announced they would initiate an investigation. However Lamine’s family say this has not happened and so far no one has been brought to account.
“Touche pas à ma nationalité” (TPMN) was created in response to the registration process launched in 2011, and it continues to work against discrimination and in defense of Afro-Mauritanian communities. Its president, Alassane Dia, said “Lamine Mangane’s engagement showed the determination of TPMN activists to fight, whatever cost, to rid Mauritania of the demons of racism, slavery and exclusion. Lamine Mangane’s death created a real shock wave. For fear of general unrest, the State was forced to make the registration process much more accessible to the black people of Mauritania for a while, before racist and discriminatory practices started again”.