Mauritanian police beats workers

In this video from Zouérat in Mauritania, police beat demonstrating workers.

The video shows a Mauritanian union protester carried to hospital after having been shot by police.

WikiLeaks: Mauritanian Child Brides Embody the Dark Side of Globalization. Michael Busch, Foreign Policy in Focus: “One of the least remarked upon aspects of the WikiLeaked embassy cables is the persistent focus by diplomats on the so-called ‘dark side of globalization’ – the illicit global economy. From gun-runners and nuclear smugglers to concerns about the trafficking of people and natural resources, cables detailing the corrosive effects of organized crime on the national interest pepper the Cablegate database with remarkable frequency… Child trafficking is one such instance, the subject of a 2009 cable with the alarming title ‘From Child Bride to Sex Slave'”: here.

13 thoughts on “Mauritanian police beats workers

  1. Mauritania: Secondary school teachers three-day general strike

    Mauritanian secondary school teachers organised in the National Union of Secondary Education and the Independent Union of Teachers of Secondary Education (SIPES) held a three-day general strike from May 22 to May 24. This is the second such strike within the space of two weeks.

    Amongst their demands are a pay increase, incentive bonus and a housing allowance. SIPES called on the government to “meet the demands of teachers, in particular for the creation of a set of regulations governing their profession, the establishment by decree of criteria for assignment and promotion, payment of the equipment allowance promised by the president and payment of (a) chalk allowance”.


  2. Mauritania: Protesting miner shot dead

    A strike by copper miners organised by the National Workers Confederation of Mauritania began last Thursday in pursuit of a wage increase and better conditions. On Sunday police wielding truncheons and tear gas clashed with the protesting miners, leading to the death of one of the striking miners.

    The miners picketed the headquarters of the Copper Mines of Mauritania in the town of Akjouti. The mine is majority owned by the Canadian based First Quantum Minerals Ltd. It produces around 40,000 tons of copper annually. The company suspended operations at the copper mine and urged the Mauritanian government mediation process to quickly resolve the dispute.


  3. Mauritania: Copper miners dispute continues

    Copper miners at the Canadian-owned Copper Mines of Mauritania (MCM) continue their strike in pursuit of better conditions and a wage increase.

    A miner, 36-year-old Mohamed Ould Mechdhoufi, was killed when the strikers clashed with police on 15 July while picketing MCM headquarters. The Mauritanian Forum of Human Rights Organisations has condemned the police violence and called for an investigation into Mechdhoufi’s death.

    Police again attacked the miners last Sunday, using tear gas and truncheons as the strikers tried to stop strike breakers being bussed in to the mine.


  4. Mauritanian gold miners’ strike

    Around 1,500 gold miners at the Tasiast mine, 400 kilometres northeast of the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott, went on strike at the end of last week. The mine is owned by the Canadian company Kinross, which produced 185,000 ounces of gold last year and is said to have reserves of 8 million ounces.

    They are demanding equal pay for those doing the same work, better medical facilities and for the company to respect the labour code.


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  8. Dear Avaaz members around the world,

    I became a slave at age 5. Every day I looked after the herd. Every night I was raped by my master. I always thought, without understanding, that this was normal.

    In Mauritania, where I’m from, hundreds of thousands of people are still held this way today. But I was lucky. My brother escaped his masters and found an organisation working to stop slavery. He asked them to help free me. But when they came to take me away, at first I completely refused. I couldn’t imagine a life away from my masters, a life where you worked no matter what, even if pregnant or giving birth. This was the only life I had ever known.

    The man who came for me, and who has dedicated his life to freeing others like me, is now behind bars for daring to speak out against slavery. But in seven days there is a court appeal and he could be released. If hundreds of thousands of people around the world speak out for Biram Dah Abeid, we can break his chains so he can continue helping others break theirs. Join me now:

    The slave-owning elites have poured on the pressure to keep the status quo, but opinions are starting to change. And I believe our President can be influenced — under intense pressure, he’s released political prisoners before, including Biram himself. Please join me now to free him again.

    With thanks and hope,

    Haby mint Rabah with the Avaaz team

    Note from Avaaz:

    Mauritania has the worst slavery problem on the planet. Today, up to 20% of the entire population are slaves. They are born into it or sold to masters, abused, raped and exploited. And like the historic trade, this slavery is racist — almost all slaves are African Haratin.

    Mauritania was the last country in the world to abolish slavery, and it only became a crime in Mauritania in 2007. Despite it being illegal, and Mauritania having an Anti Slavery Act and a roadmap to end slavery, just one slave master has been successfully prosecuted.

    Those that challenge this illegal cruel practice are detained and tortured. Biram has fought slavery his whole life — he’s received prestigious prizes from the UN and recently ran for president of Mauritania. But the government has denied the organization he leads any legal recognition, and now thrown him in jail for two years just for speaking publicly.

    With just seven days until the appeal, let’s answer Haby’s call, demand Biram’s release, and build the largest 21st century call for abolition by sharing this on Facebook, Twitter — everywhere:


    Biram Dah Abeid Still Imprisoned: Latest Developments (UNPO)

    Mauritania: Jailed presidential candidate and anti-slavery activists must be released (Amnesty International)

    Joint Motion for a Resolution on Mauritania, in particular the case of Biram Dah Abeid (European Parliament)

    “Pour les maîtres, violer les esclaves est un droit” (Le Nouvel Observateur – French)

    Le combat contre l’esclavage en Mauritanie récompensé par l’ONU (RFI – French)

    Mauritanie: quand la question de l’esclavage s’invite à la présidentielle (Afrique Décryptages, Ifri – French)

    Forty years a slave: women start new lives in Mauritania (IRIN)


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