Target: His Majesty Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, King and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia
Goal: Prevent the execution of a man convicted of apostasy.
Ashraf Fayadh, a poet and artist, has been sentenced to death for the “crime” of apostasy after being accused of spreading atheism through his poetry. His sentencing is outrageously harsh and violates international human rights agreements. Sign the petition and demand that the charges against Fayadh be dropped and that he be released immediately.
Fayadh was initially charged with apostasy following a complaint from a neighbor that he was “promoting atheism and spreading blasphemous ideas among young people,” Amnesty International reports. He was quickly released but re-arrested on similar charges about five months later. At that time he was also charged with violations of Saudi Arabia’s Anti-Cyber Crime Law because he had taken pictures of women on his phone. He was sentenced to four years in prison and 800 lashes for the photos; he repented of the apostasy and this was deemed acceptable. However, an recent appeal of his sentence resulted in the court sentencing him to death for the apostasy charges. Fayadh was not allowed a lawyer at any point during the trial or appeals process.
Under international law, the death penalty is reserved for only the most serious crimes. Apostasy is not even internationally recognized as a crime at all. It is completely out of line to sentence someone to death simply for peacefully expressing his religious beliefs. Sign the petition and demand that Ashraf Fayadh’s sentence be overturned and that he be freed immediately.
Dear King Salman,
I am writing to demand that you not execute Ashraf Fayadh, a poet and artist who has been accused of apostasy. The gravity of the punishment is entirely outrageous given the nature of the so-called “offense” and the charges against him should be overturned.
Fayadh was initially arrested after a neighbor accused him of “promoting atheism and spreading blasphemous ideas among young people.” He was quickly released but arrested again five months later on similar charges. At that time he was also charged with violations of the Anti-Cyber Crime Law.
Fayadh repented of the apostasy but was sentenced to four years in prison and 800 lashes for his violations of the Anti-Cyber Crime Law. However, a recent appeal resulted in his sentence to death for the charges of apostasy as well.
Under international law, the death penalty is reserved for only the most serious crimes–and apostasy is not one of them. In fact, apostasy is not recognized as a crime at all by the international community, and pressing criminal charges against someone simply for his peacefully held political or religious beliefs is a violation of the internationally-recognized right to freedom of expression. Furthermore, Fayadh was not allowed a lawyer at any point during his trial or the appeals process, a clear and appalling violation of fair trial standards.
I urge you to do what is right, both morally and legally. Overturn Ashraf Fayadh’s death sentence and release him immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Walt Jabsco