A leading Muslim religious body in Mauritania has called for a blogger to be executed following his 2014 death sentence for apostasy, Reuters news agency reports.

The Forum of Imams and Ulemas has called for Mohamed Ould Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir, 29, to be executed despite the fact that he had repented for an article, Religion, religiosity, and craftsmen, in which he criticised Mauritania’s caste system.

Mainly Muslim Mauritania has not applied a death penalty since 1987 but the Forum of Imams and Ulemas called on the authorities to execute him, saying “no exception” should be made.

In a statement quoted by Reuters, the religious body added:

“We demand that the competent authorities apply the law: kill him and bury him in conformity with the law of God.”

Leading rights groups, including Freedom Now and the Committee to Protect Journalists, have campaigned for the blogger’s release.

Freedom Now, which represents him, said his trial was marred by procedural irregularities and that three of his lawyers had resigned after receiving death threats.

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