NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Bastions of Human Rights

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Voted in December as vice presidents of the U.N. Human Rights Council for 2013 were the nations of Mauritania and the Maldives, both of which permit the death penalty for renouncing Islam. In Mauritania, a person so charged has three days to repent for a lesser sentence. An August 2012 item in London’s The Guardian reported widespread acceptance of slavery conditions in Mauritania, affecting as many as 800,000 of the 3.5 million population. Said one abolitionist leader, “Today we have the slavery [that] American plantation owners dreamed of [in that the slaves] believe their condition is necessary to get to paradise.”

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