slavery in mauritania

Free Mauritania’s Anti-Slavery Activists

Biram Dah Abeid is a leading anti-slavery activist in Mauritania, the country with the highest prevalence of slavery in the world. The organisation he founded, the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement has fought for the freedom of countless men, women and children.

Mauritania fully outlawed slavery in 2007 but has systematically failed to end it in practice. It has fallen to activists like Biram to fight for people’s’ freedom and they face regular harassment and harsh treatment in their campaigning.

As you read this Biram and his fellow activists are sitting in a prison cell for their work to end slavery in Mauritania — and we need your help to secure justice. A huge wave of international pressure now could force the Mauritanian government to prioritize ending slavery and stop the harassment of anti-slavery activists.

Please call on the Mauritanian government to free Biram Dah Abeid and his fellow anti-slavery activists.


President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz Justice Minister Sidi Ould Zein

I am calling on you to immediately and unconditionally release: Biram Dah Abied, Khatri Rahel, Cheikh Val, Chedad Mohamed, Mohamed Vadoua, Dr. Saad Louleyd, Brahim Bilal Ramdhane, Dah Boushad, Abidine Matalla, Samba Diagana, Hassane Mahmoud, Djiby Sow, Kawtal, Brahim Jiddou, Baba Traoré, Yacoub Inalla, Sabbar Houssein, Hanana Mboyrick and Boubacar Yatma.

I also urge you to launch a full, independent and impartial investigation into allegations of torture against Brahim Bilal Ramghane, Khattri Rahel, and Dah Boushab.

Dr. Saad Louleyd, who is diabetic, should also be given immediate access to medical care.

Mauritania must end the harassment of anti-slavery activists and take positive steps to fully abolish slavery.

Click here to sign the petition.

Slave masters in Mauritania exercise full ownership over their slaves. They can send them away at will, and it’s common for a master to give away a young slave as a wedding present. This practice tears families apart; Moulkheir never knew her mother and barely knew her father.

Most slave families in Mauritania consist of dark-skinned people whose ancestors were captured by lighter-skinned Arab Berbers centuries ago. Slaves typically are not bought and sold — only given as gifts, and bound for life. Their offspring automatically become slaves, too.