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Mauritanian anti-slavery activists released

Mauritanian anti-slavery activists released

Mauritania

The streets of Mauritania were on Tuesday full of jubilation following the release by the Supreme Court of two anti-slavery activists denouncing the survival of an abolished practice in the country.

Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid, an unsuccessful candidate for the presidential election of June 2014 and leader of anti-slavery NGO [the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement, IRA] and Brahim Bilal were sentenced to two years in prison and were released after spending 20 months in jail.

Slavery was officially abolished in Mauritania in 1981 but some of its practices continue, a situation denounced vehemently by one of two convicts.

“Activists and sympathizers came in masses to attest their dedication to their leader, demonstrating their ability to further mobilize to continue fighting regardless of the verdict. Toure vowed to continue the fight,” said Balla Toure, Secretary of Foreign Relations of the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement.

Ould Abeid’s political adviser, said the two are people who are just calling for human rights; “the recognition of black rights in their country,” he added.

A petition calling on Mauritania’s president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to end slavery made rounds last year.

AFP

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