Release of an atheist sentenced to two and a half years in prison
Alexander Aan was sentenced for two and half years in prison simply for having written “God does not exist” on Facebook. He has done nothing wrong! Freedom of conscience and expression is one of the fundamental human rights that must be respected in all civilised countries by all civilised authorities.
- President of Indonesia
Dr. H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
I have been informed that 30 year old Indonesian citizen Alexander Aan has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison and fined just for having written “God does not exist” on Facebook. He was found guilty of “deliberately spreading information inciting religious hatred and animosity” and “caused anxiety to the community and tarnished Islam”.
Alex Aan has done nothing wrong. He has not incited religious hatred but simply expressed his conviction. Freedom of conscience and expression are fundamental human rights that should be respected in all democratic countries by all civilised authorities. That is why I urge you to do everything in your power to ensure his immediate and unconditional release from prison.
I also think that democratic Indonesia should finally repeal the Presidential Decision and Article 156a of the Criminal Code, which are used to imprison people for as long as five years for, in some cases, merely peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression or religion.
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