Mauritanian court upholds death sentence for ‘blasphemous’ blogger

NOUAKCHOTT: An appeal court in the west African state of Mauritania has upheld the death sentence of a blogger accused of blasphemy, a judicial source told AFP on Thursday.

Cheikh Ould Mohamed Ould Mkheitir, who has also been named as Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed, was initially handed the death sentence in 2014 on charges of “apostasy”.

The appeal court on Thursday upheld the sentence but downgraded the charge from apostasy to the lesser charge of being an “infidel” after the blogger repented, the source said.

The source added that Mkheitir could still be pardoned by the Supreme Court “if they find that his repentance is sincere”.

The accused, aged in his thirties, was arrested in 2014 after uploading an article onto the internet that authorities considered blasphemous.

The original announcement of the death penalty was met with public celebrations in two Mauritanian cities.

  • Hard Little Machine

    I hope they burn their own country to the ground.

    • They will.

    • Alain

      Believe me there really isn’t much to burn. Sharing the northern border with Senegal where I live and worked, I know what a complete failed country and shit hole it is. The Mauritanians were known for making trips into Senegal (the gateway to black Africa) in order to abduct young Senegalese for slaves. They clearly practised slavery, even though they called their slaves “des captifs”. Anyone living in Senegal knew you could never thrust them or their word, so it was best to avoid dealing with them in any capacity.