The two slave-owners – Sidi Mohamed Ould Hanana and Khalihina Ould Heymad – were also ordered to pay compensation to the two female slaves who had brought the case with the support of SOS Esclaves and Anti-Slavery International (ASI). The presiding judge of the Nema special court, which was set up in December, also imposed a fine of 100,000 ouguiya (about $285) and ordered 1m ouguiya in restitution to each of the women.
The women – Fatimetou Mint Hamdi and Fatimata Mint Zaydih, aged between 35 and 40 – had lived with the Ould Daoud family since birth. They escaped with their children with the help of SOS Esclaves last year. The NGO has been looking after them since.
Speaking after the trial, Zaydih said: “I never received any money or anything for the work I did. I was only ever allowed to eat the leftovers from the masters’ meals. My 10-year-old son became the slave of one of the masters, and was under his control all the time. I never knew what my boy was eating or if he was eating at all.”