During his visit, Biram Dah Abeid had a statement for our supporters who sent messages of encouragement to him.
Biram Dah Abeid is a leading anti-slavery activist in Mauritania, the country with the highest prevalence of slavery in the world.1 The organisation he founded, the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement2 has fought for the freedom of countless men, women and children.
In 2014, Biram and his fellow anti-slavery activists were imprisoned for standing against slavery.
In response, Walk Free launched a global campaign to highlight this injustice and force the Mauritanian government to free Biram and stop the harassment of anti-slavery activists.
Our supporters came out in force. Within weeks, over 203,000 of us had signed the petition, and nearly 5,000 sent messages of support to Biram in prison.
And that’s not all. Nearly 5,000 of us made calls to Mauritanian Embassies calling on them urge the government to free Biram and over 13,000 sent messages to MEPs asking them to use their influence over the Mauritanian government, with a small number holding a demo outside the EU parliament.
It worked. Partly thanks to Walk Free supporters, Biram walked free after 18 months in prison along with most of his colleagues (sadly three remain in detention) and his case is infamous worldwide.3 In recognition of the work he has done fighting slavery in Mauritania, Biram was awarded the TIP Hero award by the US Department of State in 2016.4
Biram met with the Walk Free team in London in December 2016 and we shared with him a book of support and hope we had put together from the messages of support we received for him. It was a momentous occasion, and you can watch Biram sharing a few words in response in the message above.