If you recall, I had told you about the case of 30 year old atheist Alex Aan, the civil servant who had been beaten and arrested in Indonesia because his postings on Facebook ‘insulted Islam’. In an update on his case, it’s reported that he has been indicted on three counts. The report says that the trial was attended by five witnesses who had seen the pictures and posts on the Facebook group [and obviously still lived to tell the tale].
The Prosecutor has said the posts caused a ‘public disturbance and outcry’ [yes to all FIVE members of the public]. Apparently, the indictment was ‘strengthened by the fact that Yuhandri, an expert witness, said a person was not allowed to write anything that created public disturbance and outcry.’
Whilst this all seems like a really bad joke, let’s not forget that Alex has been in prison since 20 January. You may know that the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and the Atheist Alliance International are collecting money towards his case. We’ve sent him a letter asking him how he wants the money to be spent and what he needs.
A human rights activist will have gone to Padang today to meet Alex and his lawyers at Sijunjung court and give him our letter. He’ll also bring back more details about his case and what more we can do to help.
If you want to support Alex’s case financially, you can send a donation to the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. Just make sure to earmark it for Alex Aan. So far, we have raised around £600, including a donation from the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science UK).
In other news, there have been some reports that 23 year old Hamza Kashgari who faces execution in Saudi Arabia for his Tweets about Mohammad is now out of danger and is to be released imminently or that he is only being held ‘for his own safety’. But these reports are not true.
I just got two messages from a family member and a friend. One message said:
That’s not true, nothing has been confirmed so far, everything still foggy and in a gray area. We hear from him from one time to time informing us that he’s ok and that’s it.
We must keep the pressure on the Saudi goverment so that it doesn’t dare hurt him because the world’s attention has been turned elsewhere or because people think he is now safe. He’s not.
Here’s a petition you can sign; it’s already been signed by the likes of Soad Baba Aissa, Gita Sahgal, Salman Rushdie and Richard Dawkins. Please sign it now if you haven’t already done so.
By the way, here’s a site of his supporters. It has a counter. He has been in prison now for 60 days…