6 July 2016

Mauritania: Anti-Slavery Activists Arrested in Mauritania, Others Missing

Photo: Contributor/IRIN
Former slave, Mattallah Ould M'Boirk, along with his family in Nouakchott (file photo).
press release

Freedom House

This statement was originally published on freedomhouse.org on 1 July 2016.

In response to the arrest and disappearance of six anti-slavery activists in Mauritania on June 29-30 - just as the president and vice-president of the anti-slavery organization IRA-Mauritania received the U.S State Department's Heroes Award for their work against human trafficking - Freedom House issued the following statement:

"Intimidation and violence targeting anti-slavery activists continues in Mauritania despite the government's claims that reforms are underway to reduce the prevalence of slavery there," said Vukasin Petrovic, director for Africa programs. "The Mauritanian government should immediately disclose the whereabouts of the arrested activists, bring them to court if they are suspected of any crimes, or promptly release them."

Background:

Diop Amatidjane, third vice president of IRA-Mauritania, was arrested June 30 by police at his home. Police also arrested Balla Touré, external relations officer. The whereabouts of Amatidjane and Touré along with four other IRA members remain unknown.

Biram dah Abeid and Brahim Bilal Ramdhane, IRA-Mauritania's president and vice-president, were released from jail on May 17, after 19 months in custody for organizing a protest against the continued practice of slavery in Mauritania. The State Department honored them June 30 for their anti-slavery efforts.

Mauritania is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2016 and Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2016.

More on This

Court Rulings End Slavery?

A week in which two slave-owners were jailed and two leading anti-slavery activists were released from prison in… Read more »

Copyright © 2016 International Freedom of Expression Exchange Clearing House. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.