A Mauritania court has reportedly condemned a man to death for insulting Islamic prophet, Mohammed, a human rights group claims.
28-year-old Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir was arrested in 2013 for writing an article about the Prophet Mohammad and the caste system, an extremely sensitive subject in a country with deep social and racial divisions.
The prosecution had reportedly asked for the death penalty to be carried out in accordance with Islamic sharia law and recommended he die by a firing squad.
Mkhaitir claimed his article had been misinterpreted and was reported to have fainted in court when the verdict was handed down.
The death sentence comes as the country's president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz continues to deny the practice of slavery still exists, despite widespread evidence of it and other human rights abuses occurring within the West African nation.
Mauritania a predominantly Muslim country, last applied the death penalty in 1987.