A man accused of insulting the founder of Islam has been sentenced to death by a Mauritanian court.
Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir was sentenced Thursday in connection with an online article he wrote that was allegedly critical of the Prophet Muhammad.
The article also said Mauritania allowed a caste system with an underclass that is discriminated against from birth.
Mkhaitir, who was arrested nearly a year ago after his article appeared, is reported to have fainted when his sentence was read in court in the city of Nouadhibou.
Mauritania upholds Islamic law, and prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence the author to death.
Mkhaitir, who is in his late 20s, argued that his article was misunderstood.
Mauritania has not carried out an execution since 1987.