Jan 08, 2019

UNPO Welcomes Freeing of IRA-M Leader and Anti-Slavery Activist Biram Dah Abeid

On the 7th of August 2018, the IRA-M leader was put on trial and placed in preventive arrest in Mauritania for alleged defamation and threat of violence against a journalist. These were quickly denounced by international observers as a state-sponsored manoeuvre given the pending legislative elections on the 1st September.

On the 31st of December, however, UNPO is pleased to announce that Biram Dah Abeid was freed. The IRA-M leader initially led his defence by claiming parliamentary immunity, as he had received the required votes to be elected in the Mauritian parliament. It was the astonishing retraction of the journalist’s accusations however that allowed Mr Dah Abeid to walk free that very night.

The anti-slavery activist saluted both his lawyers and the activists of his party for their role in his freedom and vowed to pursue his cause. Mr Dah Abeid will indeed now prepare for a Presidential campaign against the governing party Union pour La République and likely incumbent candidate Mohamed Abdel Aziz, who was instated as President during a coup in 2006.


UNPO welcomes the liberation of political activists like Biram Dah Abeid, who campaign tirelessly for the subjects ethnic-based caste discrimination such as the Haratini in Mauritiania. The continuation of slavery as a practice must be tackled by international actors in light of the increasingly worse demographic and migration crisis in the Sahel that feeds it.