NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania — An appeals court in Mauritania has released a blogger who had been sentenced to death for an online post deemed blasphemous by authorities.

The court in Nouadhibou city on Thursday sentenced Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir to two years in prison and a fine. He has already served nearly four years, so he was released.

Mkhaitir was arrested in January 2014 and charged with apostasy over a Facebook post that condemned the use of religion to justify discrimination against his caste.

It was the first death sentence handed down for apostasy in Mauritania since the African nation’s independence in 1960.

Amnesty International welcomed the new ruling and called on authorities to ensure that he lives without threat of physical attack.

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