UNPO General Secretary Congratulates Biram Dah Abeid For Human Rights Defender Award
Biram Dah Abeid, President of IRA Mauritania, is the 2013 recipient of the Front Line Defenders Human Rights Defenders at Risk Award.
Below is a copy of the original Letter of Congratulations
Photo credits go to Front Line Defenders
Letter of Congratulations For immediate release
UNPO General Secretary Congratulates
Biram Dah Abeid for Human Rights Defender Award
* * *
Biram Dah Abeid, President of IRA Mauritania, is the 2013 recipient
of the Front Line Defenders Human Rights Defenders at Risk Award
Brussels, 3 May 2013 – On behalf of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, I would like to warmly congratulate Mr. Biram Dah Abeid for receiving the prestigious Human Rights Defenders at Risk Award, presented by Front Line Defenders, in Dublin. Mr. Abeid was selected amongst 100 nominees and six finalists for his outstanding work over the past years as President of IRA (Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement).
Mr. Abeid has worked tirelessly in his home country, Mauritania, defending the rights of the Haratin and campaigning for the abolition of slavery. It is estimated that between 10 to 20% of Mauritania’s population if affected by slavery, despite the government’s official and legal abolition of slavery. Committed to raising awareness on contemporary slavery, UNPO has worked closely with IRA in the past, ensuring that injustices do not remain unnoticed in international fora, especially the European Parliament.
Mr. Abeid and his colleagues at IRA have shown tremendous bravery in their battle to free the Haratin, facing repeated harassment and threats. Mr. Abeid, despite having spent several months in jail without notice of his whereabouts, continues to defend his cause and is instrumental in raising global awareness on the matter – something Front Line Defenders has taken the opportunity to recognize through awarding Mr. Abeid their prize.
I would also like to express my thanks to Front Line Defenders for focusing this year’s award on an emblematic figure of peaceful and nonviolent civil action.
UNPO looks forward to a continued close collaboration with its member IRA and its partners in Mauritania to ensure that the momentum built up by this prize is used well to ensure the improvement of the human rights situation in Mauritania.
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- Letter of Congratulations (PDF)