World Bulletin / News Desk
Police forces on Wednesday dispersed thousands of Mauritanians trying to break into a courthouse in the northern city of Nouadhibou to pressure judges to speed up the trial of a man accused of offending Islam's prophet Muhammad.
Eyewitnesses said the attempt followed calls by mosque imams for residents in the second largest city to gather outside the courthouse to demand a heavy punishment for the man.
Mohamed al-Sheikh Ould Mohamed stirred up uproar last month after writing an article deemed critical of the prophet posted it on his Facebook page.
The article was republished by a leftist newspaper, provoking the ire of several parties in the country, leading to his arrest by security forces.
He was jailed 15 days pending investigation into the allegations, but many Mauritanians rejected the move and called for a speedy trial of him.
Mohamed's family disowned him and called for creating "special tribunals for those making fun of Islam and other heavenly religions".
"He should repent, lest he should fall down in a world of sin," the family said in a statement sent to local media.
The ruling Union for the Republic Party warned against abusing freedom of speech in Mauritania "to insult Islamic sanctities and harm national unity".
It went on to call on Mauritanian parents "to watch over the actions of their children and shield them against practices that lead to the destruction of society".
The National Assembly for Reform and Development Party, the political arm of Mauritania's Muslim Brotherhood movement, also denounced the article, calling on the people of this predominantly Muslim country "to stand firm" against people involved in similar practices.Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Ocak 2014, 10:59