REGIONS:

SUBSCRIBE:

Sign up for weekly updates

Court upholds imprisonment of anti-slavery activists in Mauritania

A man runs from tear gas fired by police during an anti-slavery demonstration to demand the liberation of imprisoned abolitionist leader Biram Ould Abeid in Nouakchott, 26 May 2012
A man runs from tear gas fired by police during an anti-slavery demonstration to demand the liberation of imprisoned abolitionist leader Biram Ould Abeid in Nouakchott, 26 May 2012

REUTERS/Joe Penney

This statement was originally published on freedomhouse.org on 20 August 2015.

In response to a court in Mauritania upholding the two year prison sentence against Biram dah Abeid, Brahim Bilal and Djiby Sow, prominent anti-slavery activists, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“It is the height of hypocrisy for the court in Mauritania to reaffirm these sentences against anti-slavery activists the same week that the government strengthened its laws against slavery,” said Mark P. Lagon, president of Freedom House and former U.S. Ambassador at large to combat human trafficking and slavery. “Civil society has an essential role in dismantling the practice of slavery in Mauritania, but the court's decision shows that the government is unwilling to match words with deeds to combat these pervasive human rights abuses.”

Mauritania is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2015 and Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2015.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Latest Tweet:

Ugandan editors charged over presidential age limit stories https://t.co/yHM9DRXeGm @ug_lawsociety @OxfaminUganda… https://t.co/xfQlgn7You