Amnesty International is calling for the release of three anti-slavery activists who were jailed after exposing a case of two young girls allegedly forced to work as servants. Biram Dah Ould Abeid, Cheikh Ould Abidine and Aliyine Ould Mbareck Fall, all members of an anti-slavery NGO, were sentenced to one-year in jail - including six months suspended - on Thursday in the capital, Nouakchott.
"Those jailed are prisoners of conscience, detained solely on the basis of their actions in the struggle against slavery," said Erwin van der Borght, Africa Director at Amnesty International.
"The three men must be immediately and unconditionally released and Biram Dah Ould Abeid urgently treated for injuries he apparently sustained when ill-treated in detention."
The men were arrested last month by security forces after reporting that the two girls, aged nine and 14, were being held in slavery in the home of a female civil servant. Biram Dah Ould Abeid said he was beaten in custody and denied medical treatment for his injuries.