Yousef Muhammad Ali, born in 1987, faces trial on 13 July in Iraqi Kurdistan for criticising Islam. Please take urgent action right away and write to the Kurdish regional authorities to drop charges and to arrest those who have threatened him instead.
Yousef Muhammad Ali who spent many years studying Islam and Sharia law made a presentation in school on the Big Bang Theory. Islamists in his class instigated a fatwa against him. Also he faced threats when he criticised Islam on Facebook. Upon receiving a number of death threats, he contacted the police and filed a grievance against a perpetrator. His case was sent to a public tribunal in Darbandikhan, which rather than address the threats to Yousef Muhammad Ali’s life, had him arrested. He was then transferred to Sulaymaniyah jail. On 15th December 2014, his sentence was renewed until the 22nd December 2014. After campaigning by rights activists and journalists in Kurdistan and abroad he was released on bail on 17 December 2014. His hearing date is on 13 July 2015.
PLEASE SUPPORT HIM BY WRITING TO THE KURDISH AUTHORITIES AND URGING THEM TO RELEASE HIM.
You can write to the below:
Kurdistan Parliament Email & Contact number:
Ministry of Justice Email & Contact number:
Kurdistan Regional Government Email:
Please also copy me in the emails so I can forward it to his solicitor: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The letter I sent to the above:
To the Kurdistan Parliament, Kurdistan Regional Government, and Ministry of Justice,
I am writing to ask you to please take action to free Yousef Muhammad Ali and to drop the ridiculous charges against him.
If Kurdistan wishes to have my support or the support of any of my thousands of associates around the world it must protect the rights of dissidents and freethinkers. There is no reason that anyone should face criminal charges for speaking about established scientific theory nor for criticizing any religion or other system of faith and belief.
I call on you to enter the current century and leave behind humanity’s shameful past of persecution of intellectuals. Kurdistan can be a shining light in one of the darkest corners of the world today, but to do so requires protecting freedom of thoughts and freedom of expression and freedom to choose one’s own religious views and to express them, including the right to criticize religion or even to reject it entirely.
Please do the right thing for Yousef Muhammad Ali and for Kurdistan and take action to see that all charges against him be dropped and that he be free to express his reasonable views in a free and democratic Kurdistan.
Freeing Yousef Muhammad Ali is the moral thing to do. It is the sane thing to do. It is the ethical thing to do. It is the reasonable thing to do. It is the right thing to do.
Your action or inaction in helping free this wrongly persecuted man will define for me whether or not Kurdistan is run by just another backwards theocratic tyrannical regime. I sincerely hope it is not.
Awaiting news of Yousef Muhammad Ali’s freedom,
Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA