Mauritanian anti-slavery activists jailed

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Anti slavery militants hold a banner which translates as 'No to slavery and racism, no to the regime of the general dictator slavery racist Mouhamed Abdel Aziz' demonstrate on August 3, 2016 in Dakar against the imprisonement of fellow activists in Mauritania


Anti-slavery campaigners have been repeatedly targeted by the authorities

Thirteen anti-slavery activists in Mauritania have been sentenced to jail over their involvement in a demonstration in June that turned violent.

The campaigners, from the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement, received sentences of between three and 15 years following accusations of rebellion, armed assembly and membership of an illegal organisation.

They had been demonstrating against the forced displacement of residents from a slum in the capital, Nouakchott, ahead of an Arab League summit last month.

The activists say these people, the descendants of black slaves, are still living in conditions akin to bondage. Mauritania officially abolished slavery in 1981.

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