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Thousands enslaved,

Black populations tortured and lynched,

Mauritania continues to protect the authors of the crimes. 


Letter to
Secretary General, United Nations Ban Ki-moon
Chairman, US House Chairman, Subcommittee on Global Human Rights Christopher Smith
End Slavery in Mauritania; Enforce Accountability for Massacres of Black Populations


Slavery impunity
Most Human Rights organizations estimate that thousands of Mauritanians live in slavery. The Mauritanian government denies the existence of slavery in the country and refuses to allow any study into the practice.

Although slavery was legally criminalized in 2007, the authorities have been consistently giving a free pass to slave owners and at the same time harassing abolitionists seeking to free the slaves. As documented by local abolitionist groups, recently decided and currently pending cases in Mauritanian courts clearly show that the government sides with the offenders. While the 2007 law provides for an imprisonment of 5 to 10 years, most convicted slave owners walk free or, at a maximum, spend a few weeks in prison. This blatant impunity is contributing to the perpetuation of the practice of slavery in Mauritania.

Mass Murders impunity
Between 1986 and 1992, groups of Mauritanian officials organized vast campaigns of terror against the country’s Black populations.
- In 6 years, over 3000 Black government employees were interned and tortured in the death camps of Walata, Jreida, Azlat, Tiguint, Innal and others. Around 20% of the prisoners were killed in the most violent ways: Lynching, electrocuting, dragging behind vehicles on rough terrains etc...
- Furthermore, between 1989 and 1992, the Mauritanian government stationed Army and National Guard units around many Black African villages in the Southern part of the country. State security elements raped Black women and randomly killed Black villagers. An unknown number of Black civilians were buried in mass graves throughout the southern part of the country. In the process, hundreds of Black villages were erased and their residents violently expelled to other countries.

Various Human Rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch have documented the atrocities ( . The government of Mauritania has so far refused any investigation into the mass killings and has promoted the alleged perpetrators to higher positions within the government. Mauritania also protects the authors of the crimes with its law Number 93-23, which stipulates that:

“Any investigation or lawsuit related to such crimes will be nullified”


Despite these grave Human Rights violations, Mauritania was named Vice-President of the U.N. Human Rights Commission in December 2012 and the Mauritanian military continues to benefits from the assistance of the United States and other nations.

We demand that the United Nations ban Mauritania from its Human Rights Commission; and call on the US Congress to suspend Military support for Mauritania until:

The Mauritanian government
1. Prosecutes slave owners according to the 2007 law that criminalizes the practice of slavery.
2. Abolishes its law No 93-23, which protects the authors of the 1986-92 mass murders against Black populations and agrees to an independent investigation into such crimes.

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