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Executive Summary

Mauritius is a multiparty democracy governed by the prime minister, the Council of Ministers, and the National Assembly. International and local observers judged elections for the prime minister and legislators in 2019 to be free and fair. The coalition headed by the incumbent prime minister won a majority of seats.

The national police are responsible for law enforcement and maintenance of order within the country. A police commissioner heads the police force and has authority over all police and other security forces, including the Coast Guard and Special Mobile Forces, a paramilitary unit that shares responsibility with police for internal security. The national police report to the Ministry of Defense. Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the security forces.

Significant human rights issues included credible reports of: arbitrary arrest; arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy; serious restrictions on free expression and media, including censorship and the existence of criminal libel laws; serious government corruption; lack of investigation of and accountability for gender-based violence; and crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting members of racial or ethnic minority groups.

The government took steps to prosecute and punish officials who committed abuses, whether in the security services or elsewhere in the government. Enforcement of prosecution and punishment was inconsistent and sometimes politically influenced, resulting in impunity.

The government took steps to investigate officials accused of corruption, but cases rarely resulted in convictions, implying impunity.

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U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future