Thursday, March 20, 2008

So I'm looking into traveling to Mauritania.  Slavery still exists there, albeit it was "outlawed" three times in the past.  The punishments to which the African slaves are subjected are utterly inhuman:
"Routine punishments for the slightest fault include beatings, denial of food and prolonged exposure to the sun, with hands and feet tied together. "Serious" infringement of the master's rule can mean prolonged tortures, documented in a report by Africa Watch. These include 1. The "camel treatment," where a human being is wrapped around the belly of a dehydrated camel and tied there. The camel is then given water and drinks until its belly expands enough to tear apart the slave. 2. The "insect treatment," where insects are put in his ears. The ears are waxed shut. The arms and legs are bound. The person goes insane from the bugs running around in his head. 3. The "burning coals" where the victim is seated flat, with his legs spread out. He is then buried in sand up to his waist, until he cannot move. Coals are placed between his legs and are burnt slowly. After a while, the legs, thighs and sex of the victim are burnt. There are other gruesome tortures--none of which is fit to describe in a family newspaper" states Africa Watch. Another report states that some slaves caught fleeing are often castrated or branded like cattle.
In addition to accounts like these and other accounts that I've read, I still want to try and visit Mauritania--staying in Nouakchott, of course.  This doesn't make it seem bad at all to visit--it actually makes it seem quite worthwhile to visit!  If I were to travel in July, then the lowest available price for the round-trip flights would be $2800...which doesn't seem to be bad at all!
Mauritania, will you be graced by my presence?   hmmm ;)

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