After being detained on trumped-up charges and tortured, 13 Mauritanian anti-slavery activists were given sentences of up 15 years in prison for their activities.
Irwin Cotler, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and International Legal Counsel to Mauritanian anti-slavery leader Biram Dah Abeid, made the following statement in his capacity also as Founder and Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, which has taken up the case and cause of Biram's anti-slavery activists:
"I condemn this harsh sentence following sham proceedings. The unjust imprisonment, yet again, of anti-slavery activists in Mauritania is a standing – and continuing – violation of the rights of Mauritanians under both Mauritanian and international law. They must be released."