Widespread Slavery in Mauritania
The American Anti-Slavery Group was optimistic in 2007 when the government of Mauritania, under years of pressure from us and other organizations, declared an end to slavery. However, it now seems as though this was an empty gesture: half a million African Muslims continue to serve Arab/Berber masters as chattel slaves in this North African nation.
Furthermore, there is serious concern because the same military dictatorship that made this empty gesture has allegedly manipulated national elections to remain in power and continue to allow for slavery in the region!
|July 13, 1994||AASG breaks the story: Slavery Alive in North Africa|
|August 8th, 2007||Mauritania’s National Assembly adpots a law criminalizing slavery|
|August 2nd, 2008||Coup d’état in which “senior army officers arrested Mauritania’s elected leadership and shut down the airport, state radio and television“. General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz becomes ruling dictator.
|2009||US Embassy Reports Slavery Still Exists in Mauritania: TIP 2009
|April 12th, 2009||US Press Release expressing concern over human rights abuses by military regime|
|July 12th, 2009||The UK Telegraph reports that National Assembly President Messaoud Ould Boulkheir has garnered substantial popular support in his anti-slavery campaign platform for the upcoming elections. (UK Telegraph article)
|July 18th, 2009||Mauritania holds first “democratic” election since the coup|
|July 18th, 2009 – Present Day||
Ex-General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz supposedly wins the election, but National Assembly President Messaoud Ould Boulkheir and Boubacar Ould Messaoud, head of the national anti-slavery group, assert that the results of the election were “pre-fabricated”.
There is increasing concern that the current regime used democratic processes as a facade for reconsolidating their power by rigging the election. (New York Times article)
“Mauritania’s Constitutional Council… and observers from the African Union and the Arab League say the vote was fair,” says Voice of America. However, international rights organizations and investigative bodies fail to acknowledge that no mechanisms are in place to ensure suffrage for the enslaved population of Mauritania.
Demand that (a) the US curtail aid to Mauritania ; (b) the State Dept. initiate set of demands on the regime, and (c) President Obama publicly call for an end to slavery in Mauritania.
1. Write to the Embassy of Mauritania
Embassy of Islamic Republic of Mauritania
2129 Leroy Place , NW
Washington, DC 20008 – USA
Phone : 202 232 5700 – Fax : 202 319 2623
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Write to your local Congressperson
Find your local Congressperson
3. Send an Online Message, Write, and/or Call President Barack Obama
White House Contact to send an Online Message
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
(Include your e-mail address)