"...According to the Amnesty International account, the IRA discovered the child slave in Nouakchott, and reported the matter to police. Owning a slave was made a crime in Mauritania in 2007. It calls for a penalty of up to ten years in prison and fines ranging from US $2,000 to $4,000. A prison term of up to two years is also mandated for anyone who “facilitates” slavery.
“But the law does not allow representatives of civil society groups to attend the trial,” stated the United Nations (UN) news agency, IRIN.
In Mauritania, the anti-slavery group SOS Esclaves estimates there are about 500,000 black African slaves among the country’s population of 3.1 million. Their masters are Arab and Berber Mauritanians, who share only the same Islamic religion with their chattel. Unlike in Sudan, where the Arabs get their African slaves from old-fashioned, brutal slave raids, the Mauritanian slaves are the product of a system that has kept them in a state of bondage for generations, going back, in some cases, several hundred years.
Africa’s Shameful Secret | FrontPage Magazine