Target: President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Goal: Release student who was jailed for announcing himself as an atheist on social media
Egypt is instituting a major crack down on atheism, incarcerating those who proclaim that they are atheist. One such person, Karim Ashraf Mohamed al-Banna, was arrested with a group of friends for a Facebook post in which he proclaimed that he was an atheist. Egypt has been responsible for a slew of unethical arrests, but to imprison someone for their beliefs is in direct violation of human rights. Urge President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to release this student immediately by signing this petition.
Human rights groups are asking Egypt to reconsider its stance on belief and religion as many of the nation’s citizens are being thrown in prison for unethical reasons. Mohamed al-Banna is one of these citizens, as he is being sentenced to three years in prison for proclaiming that he was atheist in a Facebook post and insulting Islam. His arrest and incarceration goes against Egypt’s constitution, which specifically protects freedom of expression and belief. Unfortunately, Egypt has also arrested journalists and those who are involved with religious groups. The nation has even closed down businesses that are associated with atheism.
Mohamed al-Banna’s Facebook post consisted of an image of a scarred and burned woman alongside the Quran with a caption reading, “It’s OK to burn a woman…but NOT OK to burn a book. Something is wrong with your priorities.” The student’s own father even testified to the courts that Mohamed al-Banna was fostering extremists thoughts. An appeal is scheduled for March 9, 2015 and the student’s bail has been set to $140.
Freedom of expression and belief has been guaranteed by Egypt’s constitution, and yet the new government continues to prosecute and punish those who believe in something other than Islam. This is outrageous and extremely hypocritical of the nation. Tell President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to immediately release this man by signing the petition below.
Dear President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi,
I find it extremely aggravating and hypocritical that your nation’s constitution states that freedom of speech and belief is protected, and yet your security forces arrest and imprison those who do not believe in Islam. Your country has also prosecuted journalists and those associated with various religious groups. This is unacceptable and I demand that you right this wrong.
I urge you to immediately release Karim Ashraf Mohamed al-Banna, a student who has proclaimed himself an atheist through Facebook posts. This man did not incite violence, but merely questioned belief and priorities in Egypt. The nation’s constitution should have protected this man from prosecution, but police still arrested him. As President of Egypt, I implore you to pardon this man and any others who have been arrested for being atheist.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Kassotkin via Wikimedia Commons