Aan, who was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison on June 15, 2012 under
the Blasphemy Law for publicly declaring himself an atheist on Facebook, was released
from prison on Jan. 27.
a 30-year-old former civil servant, posted statements and pictures on the
social networking site stating that he was a member of the Minang atheist
Facebook group, which some considered insulting to Islam and Prophet Muhammad.
20, 2012, Aan was charged under Article 28(2) of the Electronic Information and
Transaction Law for disseminating information aimed at inciting religious hostility
and Criminal Code articles 156a(a) and 156a(b) for blasphemy and for encouraging
others to embrace atheism.
being sentenced to prison, Aan was also fined Rp 100 million rupiah (US$8,190).
Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), an NGO focusing on religious freedom, said in a press
statement that it had visited Aan in prison twice while investigating
violations of freedom of religion or belief and threats to religious harmony in
Indonesia. The CSW had advocated for Aan’s release.
Rogers of the CSW said Aan’s release was a huge relief and he urged the
government to seriously consider reviewing the Blasphemy Law and other pieces of
legislation that violated freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief.
hope that Indonesia will protect, promote and expand the principles of
religious pluralism set out in Pancasila so that they apply equally to all
Indonesians, and ensure that no one is unjustly imprisoned for their beliefs in