This is an urgent fundraising request for an atheist blogger facing persecution at home.

[Update 27 September 2013: You can now contribute at: http://ottawa.humanists.net/defend-freedom-thought]

As recorded in the IHEU Freedom of Thought report, we’ve seen an upturn in cases of atheists being persecuted especially for online expressions of their non-religious views. The trend has continued since last year’s report, with several bloggers – often anonymous on the web – contacting IHEU in recent months. Such cases usually orginate in predominantly Islamic countries, and may involve social exclusion, the threat of the actuality of being thrown out of their family home, physical threats or violence, mob “justice”, or legal action from laws against ‘apostasy’, ‘blasphemy’ or ‘offending religion’.

One such blogger got in touch earlier this year and was resolved to seek asylum abroad, settling on Canada as a possibility. After some discussion to gain a full understanding of the blogger’s situation, we referred the case to Canadian Humanists. The Humanist Association of Ottawa (HAO) is seeking to raise funds to support working with the blogger on a possibly asylum process. As the fundraising page [now moved to the Ottawa Humanists site] says, the blogger’s

“writings have offended Islamic groups, who are now seeking the blogger in order to turn them over to the government. They are seeking to have the blogger prosecuted for apostasy (the act of leaving a religion). Simply no longer believing the teachings of a religion is a thought crime which carries the death penalty in several Islamic countries, including the one in question here.

Identifying details including the individual’s name and nationality are not posted on this site out of concerns over their physical security.

The Humanist Association of Ottawa is collaborating with CFI-Ottawa and other atheist groups to raise the required funds needed to sponsor the blogger’s application to seek asylum in Canada. Nobody should have to face death for a thought crime.”

The fundraising page again is at http://www.weeve.it/project/home/60

[Update 27 September 2013: You can now contribute at: http://ottawa.humanists.net/defend-freedom-thought]

For more information about the fund please see the page linked above and if there are further queries contact ottawa@humanists.net.

(Crossposted from IHEU.org)

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