Biram Dah Abeid has been sentenced to 1 year in prison


Biram Dah Abeid, leader of the anti-slavery movement in Mauritania and a prominent member of the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, has been sentenced on January 6 by a court in Nouakchott to 1 year in prison (including 6 months without parole) and to pay a fine. The same sentence was imposed on two other fellow activists, while other three have been sentenced to 6 months probation and released. The prosecution had asked a 3-year prison sentence for all of them.
Biram and his two fellows will thus have to serve an effective 6-month term in prison for the events of 13 December 2010, when police harshly repressed and dispersed a demonstration organized to denounce the enslavement of two girls. Biram, President of IRA (Initiative for the Rebirth of the Abolitionist movement, against slavery) was seriously wounded at his head and legs and imprisoned, what caused outrage and protests in both the country and the international community. Demonstrations demanding the release of those arrested, organized by the Mauritanian diaspora, took place in Paris and Stockholm. In Italy members of the NRPTT submitted urgent questions on this issue to the Foreign Minister in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.
Following these events, a delegation of the NRPTT, including Marco Pannella and members of the Italian parliament Marco Perduca and Matteo Mecacci was in Mauritania from 20 to 24 December, met – among else – Mauritanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Naha Mint Mouknass, and visited Biram in prison.
The legal defence of Biram announced it would present appeal against the sentence.