For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Couch, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-238-9088
Matthew Bulger, email@example.com, 202-238-9088
(Washington, D.C., July 26th, 2017)—The American Humanist Association (AHA), in coalition with the Center for Inquiry (CFI), the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), and the Secular Coalition of America (SCA), signed a petition expressing sincere opposition to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s prosecution of Ahmad Al-Shamri for apostasy.
Mr. Al-Shamri, a Saudi man in his 20s, was sentenced to death following several Facebook posts renouncing Islam and the Prophet Mohammed. According to the petition, Al-Shamri’s arrest and subsequent sentencing violates Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, thus signaling an infraction of international law and norms. The AHA, along with its cosigners, sent this letter to the Saudi Ambassador to the United States calling upon the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to pardon Ahmad Al-Shamri and others who face penalties for similarly voicing their opinions in the public sphere. The letter also calls upon the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to amend its laws to allow its citizens to express their universal human rights, including the rights to free speech and freedom of religious expression, or lack thereof.
“It’s a travesty that any government would sentence one of its citizens to death for expressing their universal human rights.” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director at the American Humanist Association.
The letter, sent to the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States, His Excellency Mr. Abdullah Al-Saud can be found here.
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, DC, the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.