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Saturday, January 17, 2015

U.S. FOLLOWING LEGAL PROCEEDINGS REGARDING FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY, ASSOCIATION IN MAURITANIA

FROM:  U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT 
Convictions in Mauritania of Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid, Brahim Bilal Ramdhane and Djiby Sow
Press Statement
Jeff Rathke
Director, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of Press Relations
Washington, DC
January 16, 2015

The United States is closely following the legal proceedings against Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid, President of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA), IRA Vice President Brahim Bilal Ramdhane, and Djiby Sow, President of Kawal e Yelitaare. We are deeply concerned by the January 15 court decision to convict and sentence them to two years’ imprisonment, and the impact this ruling will have on freedom of association and assembly in Mauritania. We urge the appellate court to review both the convictions and the sentencing without delay, and to handle these important cases in a fair, impartial, and transparent manner. We are committed to continuing our support of efforts by the Mauritanian government and civil society to eliminate slavery in Mauritania, which must be a sustained and collective effort by government, religious, law enforcement, judicial, tribal, and civil society leaders together with all Mauritanians.