Mauritania Imprisons More Anti-Slavery Activists
In response to a court in Mauritania sentencing 13 anti-slavery activists to prison sentences ranging from 3 to 15 years, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“By protecting those who support slavery while imprisoning those fighting to eradicate the practice, the Mauritanian government shows its disregard for basic human dignity,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director for Africa programs. “The government of Mauritania should not only unconditionally release the activists, but also investigate the use of torture in pre-trial detention.”
Twenty-three activists were charged on July 13 with disturbing public order and belonging to unregistered organization, after detaining them for more than a week in an undisclosed location. At the trial, the anti-slavery activists said they had been tortured and requested that proceedings be brought against the perpetrators; their request was denied.
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.