Action Alert

Speak out against chilling human rights crime

Take action to help Saudi man sentenced to death for blasphemy

A young Saudi man has been sentenced to death for atheistic social media posts that "insulted" Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. Please take action today to help overturn this horrifying ruling.

Ahmad Al-Shamri was arrested on charges of atheism and blasphemy and held in prison before being convicted by a local court and, shockingly, sentenced to death in February 2015. His case was brought before the Saudi Arabian Supreme Court for appeal, which ruled against Al-Shamri on April 25. Typically, these monstrous executions are carried out by shooting or beheading the victim.

Please contact the Saudi Arabian Embassy and the U.S. State Department urging officials to take immediate action and contact Saudi Arabian authorities to overturn the inhuman ruling that will execute Al-Shamri for being an atheist.

CONTACT

Click here to contact the Saudi Arabian Embassy. 

Click here to contact the U.S. State Department.

Click here to let our simple automated contact system call the officials for you with automated talking points. We encourage you to add your own thoughts to personalize the message.

TALKING POINTS 

Sample email to the U.S. State Department:

As a citizen of the United States I am calling on the State Department to formally object to the death sentence of Saudi citizen Ahmad Al-Shamri for blasphemy. Please urge the Saudi Arabian government to overturn the inhuman ruling to execute Al-Shamri essentially for being an atheist. This is a horrifying human rights violation and the United States must take action to stop this execution.

Sample email to the Saudi Arabia Embassy:

I am writing to urge you to formally object to the death sentence of Saudi Arabian citizen Ahmad Al-Shamri for blasphemy. Please take immediate action and pressure the Saudi Arabian government to overturn the inhuman ruling that will execute Al-Shamri essentially for being an atheist. This is a horrifying human rights violation and any action possible must be taken to stop the execution.

(Keep reading for more information about this human rights violation.)

BACKGROUND

Ahmad Al-Shamri came to the attention of the Saudi Arabian authorities in 2014 after he uploaded material to social media that allegedly trivialized Islam and the Prophet Mohammed. Al-Shamri, who is in his 20s, initially pleaded insanity for his posts, saying that he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol when he made the comments online. His trial focused on Islamic law and he was sentenced to death for the displays of irreverence.

Leaving Islam, or "apostasy," is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, where religious extremists have total control of the kingdom's judicial system. It is the judges' duty to preserve the Islamic state, resulting in horrendous executions like the one prescribed to Al-Shamri. When a citizen steps out of line, judges crack down with horrifying punishments to protect their vision of God.

This sentence comes around the same time as Stephen Fry's blasphemy investigation. The British actor, comedian and author made critical comments about God during an interview on Ireland's National Television in 2015. He was recently under police investigation for his ridicule of religion. While the investigation has been dropped, it is part of a deeply disturbing trend in increasingly prominent and barbaric blasphemy prosecutions. The latest of these has been the imprisonment of an Indonesian governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, after he was found guilty of insulting the Quran. 

Blasphemy laws and the chilling fates for those found guilty of the crime exist not only to punish the blasphemer, but to silence future criticisms of religion. The laws freeze speech and expression of ideas, and enchain the ability of citizens to think freely.

READ MORE

Saudi Arabia to execute atheist for blasphemy 

Man ‘sentenced to death for atheism’ in Saudi Arabia 

In defense of blasphemy and Stephen Fry 

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