A court in Mauritania on Thursday sentenced a man to death for “insulting” the founder of Islam.
The man, Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir, 28, was arrested a year ago for writing an article that was interpreted by some as being critical of the Prophet Muhammad and saying that Mauritania allows a discriminatory caste system, an extremely delicate subject in a country with deep social and racial divisions.
The author, who has also been identified by some news agencies as Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed, has said that his article has been misinterpreted. The prosecution asked for the death penalty to be carried out in accordance with Shariah and recommended that he be shot.
Not coincidentally (given the Qur’an’s thumbs-up to slavery, including the rape of slave women), also in Mauritania,
A court in the southern town of Rosso began proceedings on Wednesday against an antislavery campaigner, Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeiday, and six members of his organization for “inciting violence, disrupting public order, contempt for the authorities and membership of a nonrecognized organization.”
Mauritania was the last country worldwide to legally abolish slavery, in 1981, and still has the highest proportion of its population in slavery, according to a global survey compiled by an antislavery organization.
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