22 February 2012
In January Alexander Aan, an Indonesian atheist, was assaulted and charged with blasphemy for posting "God does not exist" on Facebook. Atheist Alliance International condemned the charges against Alex and launched an appeal to assist with his legal costs and support his family during this time.
Thanks to work by local supporters a lawyer has now been appointed to defend Alex. We do not yet know further details about when his case will be heard but will provide updates as we receive them.
At stake in this case is the simple and fundamental principle of freedom of expression. Everyone is entitled to freedom of expression as a basic human right, but it is oppressed minorities - including atheists - that particularly need this right protected. Often what we say will offend people. That is an inevitable consequence of human discussion - debate and disagreement are how we challenge established ideas and how we, as a society, progress.
Thank you to everyone who has donated to support Alex and the right to freedom of expression so far. If you haven't yet donated any contribution would be appreciated (select "Legal/Support Fund for Alex Aan").