Free Biram, end slavery in Mauritania

To Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President of Mauritania, the European Union and all world leaders:

As citizens of the world, we believe that slavery must be entirely abolished in all its forms. We call on you to do everything in your power to ensure anti-slavery leader Biram Dah Abeid and his colleagues are freed immediately and unconditionally, repression of abolitionists stops, legal recognition is given to anti-slavery organisations, and real progress is made to end this human cruelty in Mauritania. We call on the EU to review and suspend European Development Fund payments unless these actions are taken, and all world governments to take urgent action to end the shame of 21st century slavery.
 
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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 organization 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.

- Haby mint Rabah, with Avaaz