Death Sentence for Apostasy on Mauritanian Blogger

Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. UN Photo

Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. UN Photo

The United Nations human rights office deplored Tuesday the confirmation of the death sentence for apostasy against a Mauritanian blogger, Mohammad Ould M’Kaitir, by the appellate court on 21 April.

According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR), Mr. Ould M’Kaitir was convicted in the first instance by the criminal court in Nouadhibou in December 2014 for an article he had published online.

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He had expressed repentance on several occasions since, including during the appeals hearing, OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville (pictured above) told the regular bi-weekly news briefing Geneva.

“We should like to stress that under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Mauritania became a State party in 2004, the death penalty, if not abolished, can only be applied for the most serious crimes,” the spokesperson said.

“We hope that the Supreme Court, which has now been seized with the case, will overturn the death sentence against Mr. Ould M’Kaitir,” he added.

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