Center for Inquiry Calls for Alexander Aan’s Freedom in Letter to Indonesian Ambassador


June 21, 2012

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) on Thursday,
June 21, wrote the Indonesian Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Dino Patti Djalal, to demand
the immediate release of Alexander Aan, a 30-year-old civil servant who last
week was
sentenced
to two years and six months in prison for
allegedly “disseminating information aimed at inciting religious hatred and animosity.” Aan
was also reportedly fined 100 million rupiah (equivalent to US $10,600).

As you might recall, Aan was attacked by
an angry mob and then arrested earlier this year for posting messages to
Facebook expressing his lack of belief in a God, as well as several cartoons
about the prophet Muhammad. Leading up to Aan’s trial, CFI
joined
the Asian Human Rights Commission to urge Indonesian government
officials to drop the charges. After sentencing, CFI protested for Aan’s
freedom at the Indonesian embassy in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, our pleas
have heretofore not secured Aan’s release.

CFI’s letter, written by President and CEO Ronald
A. Lindsay, calls upon Dr. Djalal to convey to the government of Indonesia 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.

You can download the letter by clicking
here
.

CFI will continue to track Aan’s
situation and keep you informed.

# # #

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at centerforinquiry.org.