Yet slavery persists: the brother’s sister lives her life, somewhere, as her master’s property. Her existence is not much different than the sheep she watches over.
The brother is accompanied in his search by members of SOS Esclaves (a Mauritanian government-sanctioned anti-slavery human rights organization), as well as a police officer empowered to enforce their nation’s latest anti-slavery laws. They find the sister, in her master’s tent. Together they take her away from her domestic bondage, but not without effort. Four decades of slavery has left its mark on her; terrified, she screams and weeps as if her delivery was actually her enslavement.
When the team arrives back in Nouakchott, the capital city, the sister is subdued. She admits, finally, that she had indeed been a slave, and her earlier denial was caused by fear for her future if she admitted as much in her master’s presence. She expresses relief that her brother has launched this effort to liberate her from her slavery.
This summarizes the gut-wrenching story chronicled in the French documentary, “Chasseurs D’Esclaves”, “Slave Hunters”, broadcast on European television in June of this year. The 45-minute French-language film is available online in three parts.
This is the evil that lurks in the shadow of the recent military coup in Mauritania, the dark secret perennially left out by media accounts on this story.
I'm going to translate substantial sections of the "Slave Hunters" documentary.