The American Humanist Association has issued an Action Alert. Roy Speckhardt, the Director of AHA, asks us to contact the U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh in an attempt to secure the freedom of three atheist bloggers who have been arrested and imprisoned there. The Action Alert appears below:
I’m contacting you today with information about a terrifying situation involving three atheist bloggers in Bangladesh and laws that make the expression of a person’s religious beliefs illegal if that expression might be offensive to the religious beliefs of others.
Police recently arrested these atheist bloggers in Bangladesh after they were accused of “defaming Islam and the prophet Mohammed.“ As a result of their atheistic blogs, each faces up to 10 years in jail for something that should never be a crime in any country that claims to respect religious freedom and the freedom of expression.
This isn’t the first case of atheist bloggers being arrested for a “crime” against religion. We informed you last year about Egyptian atheist Alber Saber, who was arrested and remains in prison for insulting Islam and the prophet Mohammed.
This alarming trend of arresting atheists is spreading throughout the world. I need your help to raise awareness of the situation to high-level government officials who must take action now.
Religious beliefs should be respected, even if they differ drastically from our own. However, religious groups and individuals must remember that they are not immune from having their beliefs questioned, nor do they have the right to imprison others who they feel have insulted their faith.
These men do not deserve to sit in jail for being atheists or for challenging religion. With your help, we can help assist them in their quest for freedom and vindication.
Thank you for defending the basic human right to believe—and not believe.
P.S. The American Humanist Association is working with the U.S. State Department and the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to support the atheist bloggers who have been arrested. Help make an impact—take action now.