Mauritania , country on the Atlantic coast of Africa. Mauritania forms a geographic and cultural bridge between the North African Maghrib a region that also includes Morocco , Algeria , and Tunisia and the westernmost portion of Sub-Saharan Africa. Much of Mauritania encompasses part of the Sahara desert, and, until the drought conditions that affected most of that zone of Africa in the s, a large proportion of the population was nomadic. Mauritania was administered as a French colony during the first half of the 20th century and became independent on November 28, By the terms of the constitution, Islam is the official state religion, but the republic guarantees freedom of conscience and religious liberty to all.
Mauritania: An Ould Ghazouani Presidency?
Advanced Search. Although his sentence has expired, the authorities continue to detain him. The new law eliminates the possibility under article of substituting prison terms for the death penalty for certain apostasy-related crimes if the offender promptly repents. The ACHPR has repeatedly said that countries should abolish the death penalty or establish a moratorium in line with the continental and global trend. In addition, the United Nations has repeatedly stated that the mandatory imposition of the death penalty, even for the most serious crimes, is prohibited under international human rights law.
Mauritania has not carried out any execution since The adoption of the law making the death penalty mandatory for certain apostasy related crimes is a huge step backward from the abolition of the death penalty. A week later, the Council of Ministers approved the draft law to repeal and replace article However, he remains in incommunicado detention. He continued to receive death threats when he was in prison.
His relatives, friends and supporters also received death threats. Stand up for humanism and human rights as an official part of our global movement. Be a part of the humanist movement — as an individual or an organization. The democratic, defining statement of world humanism, from Humanists International. Our answers to your frequently asked questions about the humanist worldview.
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Advanced Search. Although his sentence has expired, the authorities continue to detain him.
This post is part of a series of analyses on the geopolitics of religious soft power. Leaving aside precolonial contacts, it is worth noting that French colonialism spurred pilgrimage to Mecca in two ways. For some West African Muslims, European colonialism motivated a religious hijra , or emigration, that took them all the way to the Hijaz.
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Independent from France in , Mauritania annexed the southern third of the former Spanish Sahara now Western Sahara in but relinquished it after three years of raids by the Polisario guerrilla front seeking independence for the territory. A series of presidential elections that he held were widely seen as flawed. A bloodless coup in August deposed President TAYA and ushered in a military council that oversaw a transition to democratic rule.
NGOs protest as Mauritania creates “mandatory” death sentence for apostasy and blasphemy
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Sign Up for our Newsletters. Mauritania is rich in rock art sites, particularly in the south eastern parts such as Guilemsi which occurs on a sandstone ridge in the Tagant District. Paintings are found in the walled shelters and on stonewall banks of a dry river. Images include camels, horsemen, cattle, wild animals and a few geometric designs belonging to the fourth and third millennia. More recent images include human figures in red riding horses or cattle with some holding weapons. Schematic designs use red, white or black colouration.
How Mauritania exports religion to Saudi Arabia—And not just the other way around
Mauritania has bolstered a contentious law on apostasy after an appeals court ordered the release of a local blogger. Mauritania has moved to strengthen a law criminalising apostasy and blasphemy, after a court in the West African nation ordered the release of a local blogger who faced the death penalty for allegedly criticising the Prophet Muhammad. An amendment to Article of the country's penal code will now see the death penalty applied to "every Muslim, man or woman, who ridicules or insults Allah", his messenger, his teachings, or any of his prophets, "even if [the accused] repents", according to state news agency AMI. The change aims to "adapt procedures to new situations that were not previously taken into account" when the law was first passed in , said Justice Minister Brahim Ould Daddah. Officially an "Islamic republic", Mauritania's legal system is based on a mix of French civil law and Islamic law. Previously, any person found guilty of apostasy under Article faced the death penalty if he or she did not repent.
In Mauritania, what looked for a long time like a strong probability, if not certainty — a third term for President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz — now looks less and less likely. The next elections are expected to fall between April and June of this year, and Ould Abdel Aziz has publicly called on his supporters to cease efforts to modify the constitution. Geoff Porter has more on the recent developments and what comes next:. This will likely intensify in the weeks and months to come. I would add that an Ould Ghazouani presidency would represent continuity not just with the administration of Ould Abdel Aziz, but with trends in Mauritanian politics dating back to the beginning of military rule in Mauritania in At that time, of course, Ould Abdel Aziz and Ould Ghazouani were just starting their careers , and they reportedly met in at the military training academy in Meknes, Morocco.
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