Mauritania confronts a long legacy of slavery

by Adam Nossiter

Noura Mint Mourada, now 18, became a slave to a family in Boutilimit, Mauritania, at the age of 4. Photo: Samuel Aranda/ New York Times

BOUTILIMIT, Mauritania — The protesters gathered in front of the low-slung police station, yelling “No to Slavery” and “Freedom.” They had come from across the country to demand the arrest of a family accused of holding a slave since childhood, but they elicited little more than dispassionate stares from the police officers sitting silently before them. The subprefect of the district went to take a nap in the afternoon heat.