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Australian philosopher, literary critic, and professional writer. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Please support Alexander Aan

You can sign this important petition over here on the White House's site. I'm surprised to see that it has only about 7,000 signatures, and will lapse at this rate. It needs a total of 25,000 signatures in the next week for anything to happen.

The petition:
Earlier this year, Indonesian civil servant Alexander Aan posted on Facebook that he doubted the existence of God. He was then attacked and beaten by an angry mob, and arrested for blasphemy. 
On June 14, Aan was convicted of “disseminating information aimed at inciting religious hatred or hostility,” sentenced to 30 months in prison, and saddled with a large fine. Now many Indonesians are calling for his death.

By punishing Aan, Indonesia is violating its obligations to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees every person the rights to freedom of belief and expression. We petition the Obama administration to call upon the Indonesian government to immediately release Alexander Aan and improve its protections for religious dissidents and nonbelievers.

We can all get behind this, can't we? Regardless of any other religious, ideological, or philosophical differences. This is about as fundamental an issue of freedom of speech, thought, and belief as we'll find anywhere.

3 comments:

Michael De Dora said...

Thanks for sharing, Russell.

GTChristie said...

Done. Also cross-posted at The_Moxie_Files.

MH said...

Sadly, doesn't look like the petition is going to meet its goal in time. It has only gained a couple hundred names in the last day or so, and that's not fast enough, not even close. However, there have been several petitions in support of Aan at Change.org as well, and at least one of them is still open:
http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions#search/Alexander Aan

Amnesty has commented as well (http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA21/021/2012/en), but I wasn't savvy enough to find an online petition.