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Protesters demand eradication of slavery in Mauritania

May 2, 2018 at 12:07 pm

A fire broke out during a demonstration against slavery in Mauritania on 30 April 2017 [Weddady/Twitter]

Hundreds of politicians and human rights activists demonstrated in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott on Sunday evening to demand “an end to all forms of slavery in the country”, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported.

According to the agency, the demonstrators marched through a number of streets in the capital calling on the government to work hard to eliminate all forms of slavery.

The demonstration was organised by the Standing Committee for the Charter on the Political, Economic and Social Rights of Haratins in Mauritania. Haratin are oasis-dwellers in the Sahara.

Last month, a court in the country sentenced three slave owners to prison terms ranging from ten to 20 years.

Mauritania became the last country in the world to abolish slavery, when in 1981 a presidential decree abolished the practice. However, no criminal laws were passed to enforce the ban. In 2007, “under international pressure”, the government passed a law allowing slaveholders to be prosecuted.

Read: Amnesty accuses Mauritania of arrest, torture of anti-slavery activists