Despite assurances to the contrary as late as 2007, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania has always sanctioned slavery.
Mauritanian authorities have arrested nine anti-slavery activists and accused them of starting a riot in which several police officers were injured and a bus was burned, activist leaders said on Sunday.
The arrests were an attempt to use the riot in Nouakchott to discredit the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA) movement, its coordinator Issa Ould Aliyine told a news conference.
"From the first hours of the riots, and even without knowing their cause or the details, an order was given to government media to start a campaign to link the IRA with the violence," he said.
Here is a segment of a 2012 documentary about modern day slavery in this Islamic Republic: