Mauritania: Where escaping slavery can be a crime
October 20th, 2014
04:34 PM ET

Mauritania: Where escaping slavery can be a crime

By John D. Sutter

Imagine being rescued from modern slavery, only to be charged with a crime.

That's the apparent reality in Mauritania, the country with the world's highest incidence of modern slavery. Located in West Africa, on the edge of the Sahara Desert, an estimated 4% to 20% of people there remain enslaved. It was the last country in the world to abolish the practice - in 1981. And it only criminalized owning humans in 2007.

So perhaps this latest news should come as no surprise.

Mbeirika Mint M'bareck, a 15-year-old girl, was rescued from slavery only to be subsequently charged with having sex outside of marriage, according to a letter activists drafted on her behalf. (It is unclear who fathered the child). That crime is potentially punishable by death by stoning, according to an expert I spoke with. The activists planned to send the letter to the country's ministry of justice on Monday.


soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. rick

    So aparently slavery is still well established in that country. And the attempt to cover it up by charging the girl with a crime. And most likely she was raped during her captivity resulting in the pregnancy. But the animal that did the real crime goes scott free. Or is my views just wrong? And if its not stopped now. The so called sharia law will expand this type of atrocity everywhere to every female in world. Thats the final goal.. But what can you expect from a religion started by a murderer and child molester.. And claimed to be a phrophet. And probably the girl either was kidnapped or sold by family for a human invention.. Money.. The real truth is probably much higher in numbers of the slaves like this.. When a person is a person instead of a money opertunity.. Then the problem will begin to finaly dissapear..

    October 20, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  2. earleydaysyet

    And while you're Copy/Pasting your comments to multiple pages, you might as well spell "prophet" correctly.

    January 31, 2015 at 7:29 am | Reply
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