AI denounces persecution of anti-slavery organisations in Mauritania

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) - Amnesty International (AI), in a report released on Thursday in Dakar, Senegal, has revealed that the human rights activists fighting against discrimination and slavery in Mauritania, are being persecuted.

The report says that the civil society activists who denounce those practice are victims of ‘arbitrary arrests, tortures, detentions and banned systematically from gathering’.

The report, entitled 'A sword hanging over our heads’, also says that the organisations who dare denounce slavery and discrimination are not recognized by the authorities

In a research it carried out over four years, Amnesty said it has listed 168 cases of arbitrary arrests of human rights activists since 2014. The organisation adds that on this list are at least 17 people tortured and victims of mistreatment.

At the launching ceremony of the report in the Senegalese capital, Alioune Tine, executive director of the West and Central African regional office for Amnesty International, slammed the Mauritanian authorities, who say that they abolished slavery 40 years ago, but keeps practicing the scourge and suppressing those fighting the phenomenon.

According to the report, up to 43,000 people are still functioning as slaves in Mauritania as at 2016, which represents 1% of the populations.

In 2016, only two people had been condemned for slavery out of 47 dossiers in which at least 53 suspects were involved.

In 2015, the Mauritanian authorities adopted a bill to strengthen the suppression of slavery, describing the practice as ‘crime against humanity’ and doubling the punishment for perpetrators.
-0- PANA KARL/IS/MSA/VAO 22March2018

22 march 2018 15:43:42

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