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Police attack anti-slavery campaigners

(MFWA/IFEX) - A group of anti-slavery campaigners in Mauritania protesting against a slavery case in the country were on August 4, 2011 violently dispersed by personnel of the Mauritanian police service.

The campaigners, under the banner of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement in Mauritania (IRA Mauritanie), who had rallied in front of the Young Offenders and Crime Victims police unit, were attacked with batons and tear gas.

The Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent reported that the police brutality resulted in several injuries including to the president of the movement, Boiam Ould Dah, who lost consciousness and was subsequently hospitalized.

The correspondent said though the IRA Mauritanie actively campaigns against slavery in the country; it is not recognized by the authorities. They have been accused by the authorities of using the anti-slavery campaigns as a pretext to make money.

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