Slaves were imported to the Persian Gulf mainly from East Africa. The largest number of male slaves sent to the region was absorbed in the pearl fisheries industry. At the turn of the 20th century, it was the British Government who played a principal role in the repression of the slave trade in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. The position of the British Government in regard to slavery in these regions can be described as uncompromisingly hostile to the slave trade and adverse to slavery as an institution. The British Agents in the Persian Gulf were authorized to manumit slaves. Giving a statement was a prerequisite of manumission, the slaves were applying for in front of the British officials. Between 1907 and 1949 949 statements were made and they shed a light on various aspects of the social, economic and political life in the Gulf in this period.
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