Calls for 'review' of blasphemy law
Publish date: 14 May 2018
Issue Number: 773
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
The AU's human rights body has called on Mauritania to 'review' a draft law that applies the death penalty for blasphemy as global outrage grows over the imprisonment of a young blogger. Cheikh Mkheitir has been detained for more than four years despite his death penalty being downgraded to a two-year sentence in November. A report on the Middle East Online site notes that the decision by an appeals court to spare Mkheitir's life, which caused clashes and outrage in the conservative Muslim nation, came after he repented for charges of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a blog post. Soyata Maiga, the head of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, called on the government to reconsider the Bill 'in accordance with the guidelines and efforts of the African commission's working group on the death penalty and extrajudicial killings in Africa'.