Mauritanian bloggers are having a tough time

There are numerous stories of bloggers facing the wrath of religious ultras and intolerant administrative/ social/ legal systems. The hacking of a number of liberal bloggers in Bangladesh in the last few years and reports now and then appearing about illegal detention of many bloggers in African countries - do they sound familiar?  
This is a report on a blogger who spoke against social evils in Mauritania four years back and is still paying the price for that. Cheikh Ould Mohamed Ould Mkheitir, a Mauritanian blogger imprisoned since 2014 on blasphemy charges is not yet being released by authorities. 32 NGOs have petitioned the Mauritanian President for release of the illegally detained blogger.
Mauritanian blogger jailed
In 2014, the blogger wrote an article, 'Religion, Religiosity and Craftsman', in which he criticized the country’s caste system. He condemned the discrimination being faced by black Mauritanians in the name of religion and spoke about certain choices made by Prophet Mohamed. 
The conservative segments of the society wanted his execution, he was tried and was sentenced to death in 2014 for apostasy. The blogger is reported to have first argued that he did not intend to insult the Prophet and then repented before an appellate court. The court, in 2017, commuted the death sentence to two year’s imprisonment that would end immediately as he had already spent more than that time in prison. But he is not released on the pretext that due to his act, a majority of countrymen do not want him out and his release would create disturbance in the country.
In 2018, Mauritania adopted an even harsher blasphemy law on blasphemy that invites death on such a crime.
An activist blogger, Abderrahmane Weddady, has been imprisoned allegedly for exposing a cleric who, according to the blogger, has swindled money from thousands through a fraudulent system of sale and purchase of real estate. 
There are other bloggers who have faced interrogation, detention and trials for raising their voice against the establishment.
The opponents of the present President are charging that he is shielding ultras and fraudsters, and allowing the dissenting voices to be silenced through legal means. International watchdog agencies have also petitioned the President many times for release of detained bloggers.
If you are keen to know how bloggers have been suffering over the year in the hands of authorities, courts and goons, you can visit chapters on bloggers' safety and blogs as mass media in The Manual of Blogging.

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