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.