Nine militants from an organisation that fights slavery in Mauritania were beaten and arrested on Monday after demonstrating to denounce the fact that two young girls aged 9 and 13 were being held in slavery in Nouakchott. The Foundation for Human and Humanitarian Rights (FONADH) has demanded the immediate release of the nine militants, including the director of the organisation President of the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA), Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid. For its part, the police have stated that the militants attacked the security forces, injuring six officers, and that they then sacked the police station, shouting racist and abusive phrases. Photos of the policemen injured “by the throwing of stones and dangerous objects used by the demonstrators” were released to the media.
FONADH has launched an appeal to the authorities for the case of the two girls held as slaves to be treated with the necessary speed. Ould Dah is used to accusing the Muslim scholars of being responsible for the continuing slavery in the country, a practice that was abolished in 1981 that persists in several parts of Mauritania.