The Freedom From Religion Foundation is condemning the Tanzanian government’s arrest and persecution of a young ex-Muslim activist — and asking for your help in ensuring her well-being.
Zara Kay, an Australian who has founded the group Faithless Hijabi (which provides support to women leaving Islam) and is openly critical of that religion, has been arrested on trumped-up charges in Tanzania.
“As is often the case, the charges against Zara are a pretext,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Her true ‘crime’ is the victimless crime of blasphemy and criticizing religion.”
Police in Dar es Salaam arrested Kay on Dec. 28 and held her for 32 hours before charging her with a crime. Kay is currently out on bail but has to return to police custody tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan. 5. We ask you to take action today to help free Kay.
The International Coalition of Ex-Muslims is asking sympathizers to contact Tanzanian embassies in their country and demand that the Tanzanian government drop all charges against Kay, return her Australian passport and allow her to leave the country.
The Tanzanian Embassy in the United States can be reached by
Telephone: (202)884-1080 (202)939-6125 (202)939-6127
Zara Kay has been an outspoken critic of Islam and theocratic regimes, especially on social media. According to the International Coalition of Ex-Muslims, charges standing against her include:
- A social media post deemed to be critical of the Tanzanian president (light satirical posts were posted in May when Kay was in London, addressing the handling of COVID-19 in Tanzania).
- Not returning her Tanzanian passport after gaining Australian citizenship (she had misplaced it and never used it after gaining Australian citizenship).
- Using a SIM card not registered in her name (registered in a family member’s name).
According to Amnesty International, Tanzanian authorities have used the SIM card charge in other politically motivated cases.
“This witch hunt is what it looks like when a civil government enforces religious dogma: trumped-up nonsense meant to intimidate, silence and repress. Shame on Tanzania for such a gross violation of human rights,” says FFRF Director of Strategic Response Andrew L. Seidel, who knows Zara personally.
Please contact the Tanzanian Embassy today and demand justice for Zara Kay. If you’re active on social media, please share the message with these hashtags:
#JusticeForZaraKay #JusticeForZara #StandUpForZaraKay