News from a World gone mad

yet there is still so much beauty





In Mauritania, despite the government reporting otherwise, slavery still exists. Haratine people – a group known to be the descendants of slaves – even if no longer in slavery, face widespread discrimination.

Anti-Slavery International said today that imprisoning anti-slavery activists is a ‘devastating blow’ for the Mauritanian human rights movement, and exposes the Government’s pledges to address slavery as a farce.

Thirteen leading anti-slavery activists from the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA) were sentenced to up to 15 years in prison yesterday. They were charged after a protest in late June in an impoverished neighbourhood against the forced relocation of the community in preparation for the Arab League Summit. However, none of the thirteen activists, nor IRA, had organised the protest or taken part in it.

Sarah Mathewson, Africa Programme Manager at Anti-Slavery International, said:

“The sentences are a devastating blow to the Mauritanian anti-slavery movement. They are clearly being targeted by the Government for their work to expose and denounce slavery, still commonplace in the country.

“The charges are highly politically motivated and expose the Government’s pledges to address slavery as a farce.

“It is outrageous that anti-slavery activists are targeted and prosecuted for their work, while slave-owners perpetrate crimes with impunity.

“The international community must join together to call for the unconditional release of the activists and dropping all the charges.”


Mauritania is one of the last countries where people are still born into slavery and literally owned by their masters, facing a lifetime of abuse and forced labour. They can be bought and sold, given as gifts and are at complete mercy of their masters. Women are commonly raped and forced to bear their masters’ children, who in turn also become their slaves. Haratine people –a group known to be the descendants of slaves – even if no longer in slavery, face widespread discrimination.

Mauritania has long been under national and international pressure to enforce the law, but most anti-slavery initiatives so far have proved to be empty promises.

Although last year’s new anti-slavery law offered some hope, the Government continues to target anti-slavery activists and even refuses to acknowledge the existence of slavery in the country.

To date Anti-Slavery International and its national partners achieved the only two prosecutions for slavery in the country’s history, but the slave-owners received very lenient sentences. At least 30 other cases have remained pending for years in courts or prosecutors’ offices.

Note to Editors:
For more information and to arrange interviews please contact Anti-Slavery International Press and Digital Media Manager Jakub Sobik on 07789 936 383 or at








Terrorists for the FBI: How the FBI Uses Informants to Surveil and Entrap Americans


(video interview from the Democracy Now show based on the recent story inMother Jones magazine, “The Informants,” by Trever Aaronson.) In collaboration with the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley, reporter Trevor Aaronson examined more than 500 terrorism-related cases and found that nearly half the prosecutions involved the use of informants, many of them incentivized by cash rewards up to $100,000 per assignment… the FBI has recruited a network of informants that today numbers 15,000… What we found in our investigation was that of the 500 terrorism prosecutions since 9/11, half of those involved the use of an informant.

Profiles of Provocateurs

Kristian Williams, the author of Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America Recent published a collection of short case studies on Portland IMC regarding the use of agents provocateurs, including warning signs and practical advice. Click here for the full article.


A show fromThis American Life about informant Brandon Darby, from the 2008 RNC cases of David McKay and Bradley Crowder.Following this show, Darby has started an informant advocacy group Citizen Patriot Response, which he encourages people to snitch on activists to the FBI. He has also admitted in recent speeches to right-wing neo-fascist Tea Party conference goers that he is traveling to Occupy camps around the country and attending assemblies to collect information and share it with the government. Like other informants, he is known to perpetratesexist behavior.

Better This World

A PBS special, from the Point Of View (POV) series, on the use of Informant Brandon Darby in the arrests of two activists, David McKay and Bradley Crowder, during the 2008 Republican National Convention. Check it out here.


Another source for occasional updates on informants. From their site: “SnitchWire exists solely for the purpose of investigating and objectively reporting on the existence and actions of known informants, infiltrators, rats, snitches, and provocateurs. This blog is to be used as a tool for people wishing not to associate with such unsavory, treacherous scum.”

From Green is the New Red

“This [below] is Laura Jane Grace (formerly Tom Gabel) of Against Me! playing at the Nimbus Dam, the site Eric McDavid was allegedly plotting to blow up with Zachary Jenson and Lauren Weiner. An FBI informant named “Anna” provided the group with bomb-making recipes; at times financed their transportation, food and housing; strung along McDavid, who had the hopes of a romantic relationship; and poked and prodded the group into action.

Mark Reichel, McDavid’s attorney, said: “There has never been a case in America that has involved this much entrapment, this much pushing by an informant, by the U.S. government and by the FBI behind it.”









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