The Center for Inquiry has put together a petition demanding that the White House use its diplomatic leverage to pressure the Indonesian government to release Alexander Aan, who has been convicted and sentenced under that nation’s barbaric and unjust laws. Here’s the text of that 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.
Now, I don’t really expect the petition to do much. The Obama administration will respond to it the same way they’ve responded to every other petition on that site, with a perfunctory and substanceless response written by some underling with no power. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t still useful as a tool to bring more attention to the issue, which is a very important one. So I urge you to sign it.
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