Saudi Arabian journalist Hamza Kashgari faces conviction for "blasphemy" over a series of religion-themed "Tweets."
Kashgari had previously fled to Malaysia to avoid arrest after word broke out about his "blasphemous" Twitter column. He was deported to Saudi Arabia yesterday. According to the New York Times, Kashgari described "an imaginary meeting with the Prophet Muhammad."
Even though Kashgari's Twitter posts have since been deleted, the Daily Beast published this excerpt: "On your birthday, I will say that I have loved the rebel in you, that you’ve always been a source of inspiration to me, and that I do not like the halos of divinity around you. I shall not pray for you."
The charges against Kashgari were issued by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Kashgari's formal charge is apostasy, which the New York Times notes is a capital offense in Saudi Arabia.
Amnesty International refers to Kashgari as a "prisoner of conscience." Several other peacekeeping operators have asked for international pressure to be put on Saudi authorities to release him. A few Saudi Arabians have been similarly sentenced in cases of apostasy or one of the country's other six "crimes against god." These crimes are laid out in the Koran as punishable by death.
FFRF needs your help to protect Kashgari and any other journalists charged with blasphemy. Please send a concise, but strongly-worded email or letter to the key players listed below. They need to know that separation between state and church is imperative, and that the blending of the two should never result in death.
Embassy Riyadh-Saudi Arabia
APO AE 09803
Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior
Click here to send an email.
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Call the Comment Line: 202-456-1111
Email contact form: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Email contact form: http://contact-us.state.gov/app/ask/session/L3RpbWUvMTMyOTE1NTc2Mi9zaWQvbE55SmZDUWs%3D
Thank you for your help!
Action Alert by Katie Stenz