Thursday, 20 September 2012

Petition in support of imprisoned Egyptian atheist Alber Saber

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Alber Saber has been charged with insulting religion, and
must spend the next two weeks in custody, where he has
already been attacked by fellow prisoners
On Monday we carried a report from a Cairo-based journalist, Austin Mackell, on the worrying case of an Egyptian atheist facing a three-year prison sentence for "insulting religion".

Alber Saber was arrested in Cairo on 12 September after a Muslim friend discovered that he had been participating in atheist groups on the internet, including an Egyptian Atheists Facebook page of which he is the administrator. After an argument broke out and an angry crowd gathered outside Saber's home, police arrived to arrest Saber, and later informed other inmates at the police station of the reason for his arrest, leading to a physical assault involving a razor blade.

In a post published yesterday by the New Statesman, Patrick Galey, has the latest on Saber's case – he has been refused bail and must spend the next two weeks in custody, and his lawyer, Ahmed Ezzat, says the public prosecutor will not tell him where his client is being held.

Meanwhile, a petition has been started on Change.org calling on the Egyptian authorities to release Saber and uphold the right to freedom of expression for all Egyptians:
"Across Egypt, radical Muslims are reacting with violence to anti-Islamic and pro-secular ideas. Now more than ever, it is crucial for the government of Egypt to make it clear that they support the free, peaceful expression of all citizens, regardless of their religious beliefs (or lack thereof). By continuing to detain, abuse, and potentially prosecute Alber Saber, Egypt sends a message to the rest of the world: debate and discussion are dead, and ignorance and intolerance reign.

President Mohamed Morsi promised to be the president of all Egyptians. We want him to prove it. As concerned citizens who value free and open expression, we demand that Egyptian authorities release Alber Saber at once and provide fully for his safety and the safety of all Egyptians who are currently targeted by religious extremists."
Please show your support for Saber by signing the petition, and passing it on to your networks.
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