Field report: Free Mauritania’s Anti-Slavery Activists


To advocate for the release from prison of  Biram  Dah  Abeid  and  Brahim  Ould  Bilal, anti-slavery activists in Mauritania.


Biram  Ould  Dah  Ould  Abeid  and  Brahim  Bilal  Ramdhane, President and Vice President of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist movement were imprisoned  on false charges  for their work in the anti-slavery  Movement. During their imprisonment, we encouraged our advocates to:

  • send 213,233 messages to the Mauritanian government
  • make 694 calls to Mauritanian Embassies
  • direct 13,212 messages to members of European Parliament
  • raise US$4,800 for an independent trial observer
  • send 4,768 messages to Biram in prison.


After 18 months of imprisonment, these two anti-slavery activists were freed from captivity in May 2016 on their second appeal.  Unfortunately, less than a month later, while Biram  was in the U.S. receiving the U.S. TIP Report Hero Award for their work, thirteen other Mauritanian anti-slavery activists were imprisoned. Eleven have been released to date. 


In 1981, Mauritania became the last country in the world to abolish slavery; yet, according to the Global Slavery Index, it has the highest proportion of enslaved people in the world.