ZAM Reporter

Mauritania | Anti-slavery campaigner Biram Dah Abeid arrested

Image courtesy IRA-Mauritania

On the eve of the registration for elections the Mauritanian regime puts one of his principled opponents in prison

Biram Dah Abeid arrested:

On 7 August Dah Abeid was arrested in Nouakchatt, the countries’ capital. The leader of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement<?em> is convinced that the authorities intend to silence him and prevent his registration for the elections. The deadline for this registration is 1 September, 2018. Wah Abeid was refused bail.

Although Mauritania made slavery illegal in 1981 – the last country in the world to do so – tens of thousands of people, mostly from the minority Haratine or Afro-Mauritanian groups, still live as bonded labourers, domestic servants or child brides. Local rights groups estimate that up to a fifth of the population is enslaved, with one in tow Haratines forced to work on farms or in homes with no possibility of freedom, education or pay.

Abeid founded the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement in 2008, and has been arrested many times for his anti-slavery activism. He was most recently released in 2016, after spending 20 months imprisoned on charges related to “inciting trouble” and belonging to “an unrecognised organisation”, according to UNPO.

Wah Abeid visited ZAM in December 2017. Read our report here