In response to a court in Mauritania upholding the two year prison sentence against Biram dah Abeid, Brahim Bilal and Djiby Sow, prominent anti-slavery activists, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“It is the height of hypocrisy for the court in Mauritania to reaffirm these sentences against anti-slavery activists the same week that the government strengthened its laws against slavery,” said Mark P. Lagon, president of Freedom House and former U.S. Ambassador at large to combat human trafficking and slavery. “Civil society has an essential role in dismantling the practice of slavery in Mauritania, but the court’s decision shows that the government is unwilling to match words with deeds to combat these pervasive human rights abuses.”
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.