Please support Alexander Aan

You can sign this important petition over here on the White House’s site. I’m surprised to see that it has only about 7,000 signatures, and will lapse at this rate. It needs a total of 25,000 signatures in the next week for anything to happen.

The 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.

We can all get behind this, can’t we? Regardless of any other religious, ideological, or philosophical differences. This is about as fundamental an issue of freedom of speech, thought, and belief as we’ll find anywhere.

Leave a comment ?


  1. Good one Russell. I too am surprised about the lack of support on this petition. I must confess I have been there myself and thought it was only for US citizens. My signature was excepted though after putting in a “zip”. There has been much blogging etc about this and the response from the religious has been mixed. Some muslims for example are adament that this guy deserves what he got, with a few exceptions, and most Christians see the wrong of it. I have seen on twitter, tweets and retweets from atheist groups and individuals eg Dawkins in support. But surprising to see that Richard Dawkins with over 420,000 followers cannot muster the few thousand needed to activate this petition. And with a week left to go maybe we need to be particularly pro-active with it.

  2. Depends which God he meant. 😛

  3. Leonard Bachman

    I hereby petition the Obama administration to call upon the Indonesian government to immediately release Alexander Aan and improve its protections for religious dissidents and nonbelievers.

  4. Hmm, the word “here” has a link that I wanted you to click on. I think I’ll edit the post a little.

  5. I gotta say, as a non-American I don’t feel comfortable creating a account and signing a petition under the banner “we the people – your voice in *our* governement.”

    I don’t mean that it’s inconvenient, but I’m not sure it’s even valid if signed by non-Americans – Isn’t there a better, more “international-friendly” way of doing this?

    I think that this probably answers why there are so few signatures.

  6. I agree with what Tea Aug 9th has written.
    I am rather mystified as to why Alexander Ann voiced his views in the public domain. Surely he must have known what happened to him was a likely outcome; in which case he is a brave man, with a point to make. If his views were expressed in all innocence then I hesitate to comment.
    Whatever the case if could help him in some way which would not bring down Islamic wrath on my head I would.

  7. It’s not ideal. I am sure it is valid because without having to prove US citizenship there is no way of them knowing. You could be a travelling or holidaying US citizen for all they’d know.

    I think the reason could be more that the US government would have your email address. In today’s world that could worry some or even most.

    I took the risk because it is a human rights issue, and also because when the religious are in trouble in anyway they get support from their own. Who has an atheist got except other atheists? Maybe a few religious but not many.

  8. You fear Islamic wrath Don?

  9. Re: “john pearce August 9, 2012 at 9:34 am

    You fear Islamic wrath Don?”
    No not just now. Perhaps I have an over zealous interest in keeping my head intact with my body?

  10. “No not just now.” Well sign the fucking petition then. Lol. I blame no one for fearing Islam buddy or any other religion. Take care.

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