March 3, 2011

Mauritania Woman Gets Six Months In Jail For Slavery

BBC News
written by Staff
Monday January 17, 2011

A Mauritanian woman has been sentenced to six months' imprisonment for keeping two children in slave-like conditions.

The mothers of the two girls, aged 10 and 14, were also found guilty of negligence and participating in their exploitation for monetary gain.

They each received suspended sentences of six months.

Correspondents say they are rare convictions in a country where slavery persists in some parts despite repeated attempts to abolish it.

The lawyer for the imprisoned woman, Oumoulmoumnine mint Bakar Vall, said she would appeal against the sentence, saying the girls were treated the same as Vall's own daughters and "didn't do much apart from a bit of housecleaning", reported AFP news agency.

Vall was convicted at the court in the capital Nouakchott despite the girls themselves denying they were treated as slaves.

The case, which has been closely followed in Mauritania, has also led to the jailing of several anti-slavery activists for aggression against the police.

They were arrested last month after protesting outside the police station where Vall and the two children were being questioned.

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