Alexander Aan writes letter from Indonesian prison

July 14, 2012

Alexander Aan, the Indonesian civil servant recently imprisoned for allegedly “disseminating information aimed at inciting religious hatred and animosity,” has penned a letter to the public from his prison cell, according to Michael Nugent of Atheist Ireland.

As you might recall, earlier this year Aan was attacked by an angry mob and then arrested for posting messages to Facebook expressing his lack of belief in a God, as well as several cartoons about the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Aan was charged with blasphemy, promoting atheism, and incitement, though prosecutors eventually dropped the first two charges and pursued the incitement charge. On June 14, an Indonesian district court sentenced Aan to two years and six months in prison, and fined him fined 100 million rupiah (US $10,600).

In his brief, handwritten note, Aan thanks his supporters and states that he “can’t move from his mind and always fight infiltration” — a possible reference to his status as a prisoner of conscience.

The full letter reads as follows:

I miss all my brother and sister. I can’t move my mind and always fight infiltration.

I need to clarify that; I always concern with humanity and science. Forever.

Thank for support and love. Without this I feel alone.

So I hope my code can be documented because I afraid misinformation of who I’m.

My Facebook and email was goon (gone?), but I still have ID. I write about science (my [idea and scheme] of science, mathematic too) at: (with other email).

Happiness for all,


(Alexander Aan)

The Center for Inquiry has been fighting on Aan’s behalf for several months. Leading up to Aan’s trial, CFI joined the Asian Human Rights Commission to pressure Indonesian government officials to drop the charges. On June 18, days after his conviction, we organized a protest outside the Indonesian embassy in Washington, D.C. (photos). We followed that with a letter to the Indonesian Ambassador to the United States asking him to convey back home our position that the country should honor its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights—which guarantees every person the rights to freedom of belief and expression—and promptly release Aan from confinement. Most recently, on July 6, CFI protested outside the office of the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in New York City (photos). Unfortunately our pleas have been met with silence. 

Aan’s defense team is currently appealing his sentence, though his prosecutors are appealing the leniency of his sentence. CFI will continue to fight for Aan’s freedom and keep you updated when we learn more.