Mauritania Adds Law Requiring Death Penalty for Blasphemy of Islam
ICC Note: Mauritania’s already strict Islamic laws have become worse. According to Voice of the Martyrs, Mauritania passed a law in April that would punish any blasphemy of Islam with the death penalty. This removes an older law that allowed people to repent within three days of the charges. This adds to the already high level of persecution suffered by the small Christian population in Mauritania.
06/11/2018 Mauritania (Christian Post) – A missionary group that exposes Christian persecution has warned that new changes to Mauritania’s apostasy law means that the death penalty will now be an unavoidable punishment for all people who are found to have blasphemed against Islam, even if they repent.
Todd Nettleton of The Voice of the Martyrs told Mission Network News on Thursday that there is increasing worry among Christians in the African nation regarding the changes to the law made by the Mauritanian National Assembly on April 27, which removes the three-day window of opportunity for people to repent from blasphemy before they are punished.
“This new law sort of becomes more stringent — that three days to repent disappears. Everyone is going to be punished. Even if you do repent, you are still going to be punished. And in the case of blasphemous remarks or sacrilegious acts, according to the law, the death penalty is now mandatory,” Nettleton said.
“The other thing that was very fascinating to me is, in explaining this change in the law, the Minister of Defense said that ‘what we had before was actually in contradiction with official Sharia code, the official Sharia law. We want to be as close to the real Sharia law as possible, so we needed to eliminate that discrepancy between the two.'”
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