Anti-slavery activist to speak today at UN Human Rights Council


Mauritania: anti-slavery activist Abidine Merzough to speak today at UN Human Rights Council

Mr. Merzough will be available for interviews 

GENEVA, March 16, 2016 - Prominent Mauritanian anti-slavery activist Abidine Merzough will be speaking at the UN Human Rights Council today on behalf of UN Watch. He will shine a much-needed spotlight on the human rights situation in his native Mauritania, the world's last bastion of slavery, as the Council decides on the adoption of that country's UPR report. Mr. Merzough will be available for interviews following his statement.

For interviews, please contact Leon Saltiel


Abidine Merzough was born 1968 in the West African country Mauritania but has lived permanently in Germany since 1988.

As a descendant of former slaves, Mr. Merzough has been involved his whole life in the fight against slavery and discrimination in his native country, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. His father, with the support of activists from the liberation movement EL-HOR (the Free), was the community leader of the Haratine village (community of slaves and former slaves), Chogar Gadel that revolted against their masters in 1976. During this insurrection, Merzough helped the cause through engaging in written correspondence with authorities, as he was at that time the only literate person in the community.

Mr. Merzough serves as the European coordinator for the anti-slavery NGO “Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement in Mauritania (IRA)”. He is also a member of the International NGO “The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP)”, based in Goettingen, Germany, as well as the Mauritanian Anti-Slavery NGO, SOS ESCLAVES, led by Mr. Boubacar Messaoud. He is fluent in Arabic, French, German and English.