Tell Mauritania to release anti-slavery activists Moussa and Abdellahi
Moussa and Abdellahi were bravely speaking up against slavery in Mauritania. But now they are suffering in a remote prison, with no possibility of visits by their lawyers or loved ones.
Moussa Bilal Biram and Abdellahi Matalla Saleck have been held in a Saharan desert prison in Bir Moghrein for over a year. The prison, more commonly used to house death row inmates, is in an unsafe remote region of Mauritania, 1,200km away from Moussa and Abdellahi’s homes in Nouakchott. Whilst in detention, Moussa and Abdellahi have been reportedly tortured – and have sustained injuries that indicate that they have being bound in painful positions for hours at a time.
Their charges include incitement of riots and violent rebellion against the government but no evidence of these crimes was provided at trial. Moussa and Abdellahi are innocent and should never have been convicted. They are being targeted, silenced and punished because their anti-slavery activism. They should be released immediately.
International pressure can make a real impact on activists’ right to speak out in Mauritania.
For example in 2014, many of you supported our campaign for the release anti-slavery activist Biram Dah Abeid. Nearly 400,000 supporters like you signed the petition, and Mauritania’s Supreme Court ruled in Biram’s favour. In May 2016 and he was freed.
Sign the petition and call on the Minister of Justice Moctar Malal Dia to:
- Immediately relocate Moussa and Abdellahi to a prison in the capital Nouakchott, while they wait for their Supreme Court hearing, which should grant them immediate and unconditional release
- Ensure access to healthcare;
- Formally investigate allegations of torture;
- Ensure regular visiting rights by legal representatives and family members;
- Act according to the rule of law and ensure that the cases of Mr. Biram and Mr. Saleck are heard without delay
- Immediately and unconditionally release Moussa and Abdellahi
The government are trying to silence Moussa and Abdellah by isolating them in a remote prison. Amnesty supporters are in their millions. With your support, we can become a mighty force standing alongside Moussa and Abdellah. Demand their freedom today.