NOUAKCHOTT — Six Mauritanian anti-slavery militants have been charged with assaulting security forces during a demonstration to demand the release of two girls held in bondage, a judicial source said Monday.
The source said the six members of the Initiative for the Resurgence of Abolitionism Movement (Ira) were accused of “taking part in a unauthorised rally, assaulting security forces and leading an association not recognised by the state.”
A seventh member of the group, who also took part in the December 13 demonstration outside parliament to protest the plight of two slave girls aged 10 and 14, was freed.
Sources said the woman sheltering the two slave girls was found guilty of “exploitation of minors” and placed under investigation.
The mothers of the girls however told the press that their daughters had never been slaves but had been sent away “to learn” and “to have a better life”.
They said they planned to sue Ira leaders.
Mauritania abolished slavery in 1981 but it still persists in some parts of the country.