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First Online Protest to Save the Life of Soheil Arabi

A three-hour online protest took place on 4 April reaching out to thousands on social media to highlight the urgent plight of Soheil Arabi in prison in Iran since 2013. Arabi was initially sentenced to death for “insulting the prophet.” He was eventually acquitted of this charge and his sentence reduced on appeal to seven and a half years in prison, a two-year travel ban and two years of religious study to evaluate his repentance upon his release. He was then sentenced to lashes, an additional 3 years prison and a fine for “insulting Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic” and “propaganda against the regime.” Arabi has been seriously tortured and in need of urgent medical attention. This urgent action took place while he is currently on hunger strike to protest the injustice of his case, the denial of medical attention and leave due to Coronavirus, the torture and mistreatment of political prisoners and prison conditions, amongst others. You can read more about his case here.

The protest was hosted by Veedu Vidz, Shahin Mohamadi and Maryam Namazie and was the first online protest of its kind  in both Persian and English.

You can watch the online protest here:

Those joining the online protest included Activist Abbas Mohamadpour, Activist Armin Enayati, Activist Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Cemal Knudsen Yucel of Ex-Muslims of Norway, Actress Elika Ashoori, Activist Faryad Ostovar, Youtuber Fay Rahman, Poet Halima Salat, Council of Ex-Muslims of Scandinavia’s Hamed Jamali and Milad Resaeimanesh, Lawyer Iman Soleymani Amiri, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s Jimmy Bangash, Artist Mahshad Afshar, Iran Tribunal London Spokesperson Mersedeh Ghaedi, Activist Mohsen Safarelahi, Marea Review Editor Monica Lanfranco, Activist Peyman Partovi, Rishvin Ismath of Council of Ex-Muslims of Sri Lanka, Poet Rock N Roll Sailor, Activist Samaneh Nateghi, Council of Ex-Muslims of Netherlands Savalan Ghodsi who also did a performance for Soheil, Activist Shabnam Shajarizadeh, Activist Shakila Salimi, Women’s Rights Activist Shaparak Shajarizadeh and Zara Kay of Faithless Hijabi.

Many sent messages or acts of solidarity, including Our House Founder Arash Hampay, Codou Bop – Human Rights Defender from Senegal, Filmmaker Deeyah Khan, Freethought Lebanon, Spokesperson of One Law for All Gita Sahgal, Middle Eastern Women and Society Organisation Founder Halaleh Taheri, Harris Sultan, Australian ex-Muslim atheist of Pakistani descent, Ibtissame Betty Lachgar of MALI, Founder of Secularism is a Women’s Issue Marieme Helie Lucas,  Atheist Ireland’s Michael Nugent, Youtuber Mimzy Vidz, Activist Mina AhadiMuslimish, Nada Perat Radfrau of Centre for Civil Courage, Human Rights Activist Nazanin Afshin Jam, Human Rights Campaigner Peter Tatchell, Pragna Patel – Director of Southall Black Sisters, Writer and Activist Rahila Gupta, Founder of Atheist Refugee Relief Rana Ahmad, Robyn E. Blumner – President and CEO, Center for Inquiry and Executive Director, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, Saadiq Samad – Coordinator, Ex-Muslims of Tamil Nadu, India, Shuddhashar, Former Charlie Hebdo Journalist Zineb El Rhazoui

See some of the MESSAGES OF SOLIDARITY can be seen below:

Our House Founder Arash Hampay

Codou Bop, Human Rights Defender from Senegal: I am a woman human right defender from Senegal in West Africa. I would be very grateful to you if you could send my strong support to Soheil Arabi for his struggle for his right for freedom of faith and being whatever he wants to be. Please tell him that I feel very sad about his situation and I hope that with the support from people who believe that it is his right to be atheist, he will very soon regain his freedom.

Filmmaker Deeyah Khan: This message goes to Soheil and all the other brave people campaigning for freedom of belief and expression from me and all at Fuuse. Soheil, we support you. We deplore the violence perpetrated against you. We admire your courage and your determination against the Iranian regime. We will not let your struggle go unnoticed. We will not allow your message to be silenced. We call on everyone to join us in the campaign for Freedom for Soheil! In solidarity

Middle Eastern Women and Society Organisation Founder Halaleh Taheri

Gita Sahgal, Spokesperson of One Law for All: I’m sending a picture of rosemary for remembrance. For atheists and all political prisoners in Iran. Soheil, we remember you. We call for your freedom. We stand with you and the people of Iran protesting against a cruel government which has put their lives at risk. We look forward to the day when you are free.

Artist Mahshad Afshar

Marieme Helie Lucas, Founder of Secularism is a Women’s Issue: Repression of free thought is something that belongs to the dark ages. The Iranian regime is cynically using religion to impose itself upon people. Neither sincere believers in Islam, nor secularists, agnostics and atheists can condone the eradication of our most fundamental human rights: freedom of conscience and freedom of expression. Mollahs! you don’t speak for the people as street demonstrations have made clear in the past few months! and you don’t even speak for believers as you pretend! I salute the courage and persistence of Soheil Arabi in defending our right to blasphemy, which is what is left to us when our freedom from religion is taken away from us. Free Soheil Arabi! Long live free thought!

Atheist Ireland’s Michael Nugent:

Human Rights Activist Nazanin Afshin Jam: During this time of isolation and just having passed Easter weekend I can’t help but reflect on how blessed I feel to be able to practice my faith in freedom. I am thinking about prisoners of conscience like Soheil Arabi who have received death sentences in Iran simply for being an atheist and questioning Islam and the supreme leader of Iran ayatollah Khamenei. Freedom of religion includes the choice not to believe in a higher power is a fundamental human right. And expressing this is freedom of expression, also a fundamental human right. It is not a crime and certainly cannot be used by a state to condemn someone to death by hanging. The United Nations and freedom loving people worldwide must do everything in their power to save the life of Soheil and other prisoners of conscience in Iran. Not only are they suffering grave human rights abuses in jail and heavy sentences and fines but now their lives are in jeopardy in their crowded jail cells with the threat of the spread of coronavirus. I stand with Soheil Arabi.

Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters: Dear Soheil, I do not know you but you know all of us because you are fighting for all of us. For our freedoms, our dignity and for our humanity. Today I am thinking of you and all the political prisoners of conscience in Iran and around the world. Thank you for your bravery and courage. Thank you for standing up for all of us. Thank you for standing up for freedom of expression and conscience. I know that in your prison cell, surrounded by the forces of torture and inhumanity, a mere ‘thank you’ is not enough. But I hope that by registering my voice of protest, I will join the voices of the many in resistance in the hope that our voices will grow so loud and strong that even the brutal Iranian regime will no longer be able to ignore us. Martin Luther Kind once said ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’. My friend, I stand with you in solidarity in your fight to be free from injustice.

Writer and Activist Rahila Gupta:

Activist Rana Ahmad:

Robyn E. Blumner, President and CEO, Center for Inquiry and Executive Director, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science: The Center for Inquiry stands for reason, science, and secular values around the world. We support Soheil Arabi’s right to speak out on behalf of atheism and against theocracy and religious dogma. We support his quest for freedom of conscience, his right to question and criticize religion, and we find his continued confinement and mistreatment for simply exercising that freedom to be an outrage that the world is rightly judging.

Saadiq Samad, Coordinator, Ex-Muslims of Tamil Nadu, India: We have experienced the cruelty of Islam in 2017 and after the murder of Farook, most of us here are not ready to come to public. So we can send only this message. We can understand the pain of Sohail Arabi and his family. Ex-Muslims of Tamil Nadu, India supports the protest.

PLEASE SIGN PETITIONS HERE AND HERE and continue to fight for the freedom of Soheil Arabi, all other political prisoners in Iran and those across the world being held because of their conscience and expression.

#SaveSoheil #FreeSoheil #Iran

Join Urgent Online Solidarity Protest to Save Atheist Soheil Arabi’s Life

Join Urgent Online Solidarity Protest to Save Soheil Arabi’s Life

Via Livestream on Youtube

14 April 2020

3:00-6:00pm London time/6:30-9:30pm Tehran time

Iranian atheist, activist and blogger Soheil Arabi has resumed his hunger strike on April 4 in protest to the Iranian regime’s denial of medical care and leave during the Coronavirus epidemic, inhuman prison conditions and unjust sentencing. In addition to physical problems caused by various hunger strikes, Arabi has been tortured, resulting in blunt trauma to his testicles and a broken nose, amongst other injuries. He is in need of urgent medical attention.

Soheil Arabi in prison in Iran since 2013. He was initially sentenced to death for “insulting the prophet.” He was eventually acquitted of this charge and his sentence reduced on appeal to seven and a half years in prison, a two-year travel ban and two years of religious study to evaluate his repentance upon his release. He was then sentenced to lashes, an additional 3 years prison and a fine for “insulting Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic” and “propaganda against the state” because of his brave open letters highlighting injustice, inhumane prison conditions, torture and the situation of political prisoners in Iran. Arabi has been seriously tortured and in need of urgent medical attention. This urgent action took place while he is currently on hunger strike to protest the injustice of his case, the denial of medical attention and leave due to Coronavirus, the torture and mistreatment of political prisoners and prison conditions, amongst others. You can read more about his case here.

Join our online protest action on Tuesday 14 April 2020, 3:00-6:00pm London time/6:30-9:30pm Tehran time by sending photos, videos, messages… of solidarity to be broadcast during the three-hour livestream. Do a drawing, take a photo, sing a song, recite a poem… Anything to save his life and secure his freedom. The livestream will be hosted by Veedu Vidz, Shahin Mohamadi and Maryam Namazie.

Soheil Arabi has done nothing wrong. He has a right to his opinion, belief and expression and must be released immediately as must all political prisoners and those imprisoned because of their conscience and opinion.

Join the livestream on Youtube.

Sign the Petition to save Soheil’s life as well as this petition please.

#FreeSoheil

#Iran

فوری
برای نجان جان سهیل عربی به اعتراض آنلاین بپیوندید.
اعتراض آنلاین به صورت لایو در یوتیوب و فیس بوک
زمان ۱۴ آوریل ۲۰۲۰
ساعت ۳:۰۰ تا ۶:۰۰ به وقت لندن
ساعت ۶:۳۰_۹:۳۰ به وقت تهران
آتئیست، فعال و بلاگر ایرانی، سهیل عربی که از چهارم آوریل در اعتراض به عدم رسیدگی پزشکی به وضعیت خود، عدم مرخصی به زندانیان سیاسی در زمان شیوع ویروس کرونا، شرایط غیر انسانی در زندان و همچنین دادرسی ناعادلانه به پرونده و ظلم مضاعف به وی بود، دست به اعتصاب غذا زد.
علاوه بر مشکلاتی که در اثر اعتصاب غذاهای طولانی مدت برای سهیل عربی ایجاد شد، وی همچنین توسط بازجویان سپاه مورد شکنجه واقع شد و طی ضربه ای که به بیضه اش وارد کردند به ترومای بلانت (له شدگی بیضه) دچار شد. وی همچنین بارها بینیش به واسطه شکنجه های مستقیم و غیر مستقیم شکست و در حال حاضر در شرایط اورژانسی و نیاز فوری به درمان دارد.
سهیل عربی در سال ۹۰ بازداشت و به دلیل توهین به مقدسات مسلمانان، توهین به پیامبر مسلمانان(سب النبی) و همچنین توهین به خامنه ای و برخی مقامات به اعدام و زندان محکوم شد.
پس از اعتراض و در دادگاه تجدید نظر، حکم اعدام به ۷ سال و نیم زندان و دوسال تحقیقات و مطالعات مذهبی و دو سال ممنوعیت خروج از کشور محکوم شد.
او بعدها مجددا به دلیل اطلاع رسانی درباره شرایط وخیم زندان، شکنجه و آزار زندانیان سیاسی و همچنین دفاع از جان خود که منجر به شکسته شدن تلویزیون شد به ۳ سال و هشت ماه زندان دیگر بدون داشتن وکیل و حق دفاع از خود محکوم شد.
لطفا به اعتراض آنلاین ما در روز سه شنبه، ۱۴ آوریل ۲۰۲۰ ساعت ،۳:۰۰_۶:۰۰ به وقت لندن و ۶:۳۰_۹:۳۰ به وقت تهران به وسیله فرستادن تصاویر، ویدیو ها پیام ها و غیره در طول ۳ ساعت برنامه زنده بپیوندید.
نقاشی بکشید، عکس بگیرید،شعر و ترانه بخوانید، هر چیزی بزای نجات جان سهیل که از دستتان بر می آید.
این اعتراض زنده با میزبانی خانم مریم نمازی، وییدو ویدز و شاهین محمدی برگزار خواهد شد.
سهیل عربی هیچ کار اشتباهی نکرده.
هرکسی حق اظهار نظر، ابراز عقیده، نظر را باید داشته باشد.
او و همه زندانیان سیاسی باید هرچه سریع تر آزاد شوند.
برای شرکت در اعتراض آنلاین و مستقیم وارد لینک زیر در فیس بوک و یوتیوب شوید.
https://www.youtube.com/breadandrosestv

Meet and Eat Social

Upcoming Online Meet-ups and Support Group Sessions

Hi!

I hope you are doing well and staying safe during these terrible times.

Please be advised that much of CEMB’s meetings and support group sessions will now be online until further notice. You can see our upcoming events here.

UPCOMING ONLINE MEET-UPS, 7:00-7:45pm London time

April 21 with Youtuber and Comedian Veedu Vidz on To Laugh is to Live!

May 19 with Lawyer Ana Gonzalez on Apostasy and Asylum

6th June meet-up with playwright Mwhamadu Kuusi on exploring stories by and about ex-Muslims

21 July with CEMB Spokesperson Jimmy Bangash on LGBT Rights and Apostasy

More sessions will be added to the website including a session on Internet Safety.

To join any of the meet-ups, please RSVP by sending your email to hello@ex-muslim.org.uk. We will then email you the address of the meet-up on the day of the event. The events are open to the public.

ONLINE SUPPORT GROUP

If you would like to continue to attend a support group session, please join Counselling Psychologist Savin Bapir-Tardy for the next session to be held on 7 May. The Zoom private room address will be sent to those who pre-register for the support group session.

Because the sessions are now online, Birmingham and London support groups members can join the same online session. However, since Savin can only facilitate groups of 5, please RSVP so we can ensure that there are enough group sessions on the day for all those who wish to join.  RSVP to hello@ex-muslim.org.uk.

SHUN SHUNNING

Please continue to help CEMB call for an end to shunning via social media. We hope to raise awareness of how shunning is abusive, akin to long-term psychological torture as well as a form of social death penalty and needs to stop. You can find out more about our campaign here.

SUPPORT US

Please continue supporting our work by donating via our website or helping us establish to first ex-Muslim refuge in the world.

Take care and best wishes

Maryam

Maryam Namazie
CEMB Spokesperson
www.ex-muslim.org.uk

#ShunShunning

On the second International Atheist Day, 23 March 2020, which was established in 2019 by a number of ex-Muslim and atheist organisations,  we call on families, communities and societies to end the heinous practice of shunning atheists, ex-Muslims and freethinkers.

Shunning is akin to long-term psychological torture and a form of social death penalty. See counselling psychologist Savin Bapir-Tardy’s piece on its adverse effects on those who are shunned.

A recent panel discussion on Apostasy, Shunning and Survival, highlights why we must Shun Shunning!

The panel discussion is with Actress Nazmiye Oral, Youtuber Fay Rahman, Journalist Khadija Khan, Student Activist Saff Khalique, Clinical Psychologist Savin Bapir-Tardy and Født Fri (Born Free) Foundation Director Shabana Rehman and chaired by CEMB Spokesperson Maryam Namazie. Also listen to Elewisa Mwhamadu Kuusi’s poem on this important issue. The event was MCed by Nahla Mahmoud.

Please note that all upcoming CEMB events and meetings have been cancelled since early March in order to stop the spread of the Coronavirus.

Please keep safe and help us highlight, expose and shun shunning via social media platforms.

#ShunningIsTorture

#ShunningIsAbuse

#LifeAfterShunning

#ShunnedBecause

#ShunningIsTorture

طرد_کردن_شکنجه_است#

العزل_تعذيب#

#Dışlamakİşkencedir

لاتعلُّقی کرنا اذیت ناک ہے#

 

#ShunningIsAbuse

طرد_کردن_خوار_کردن_است#

#Dışlamakİstismardır

العزل_إعتداء_عاطفي#

لاتعلُّقیکےبعدزندگیپہپڑنےوالے_اثرات#

 

#LifeAfterShunning

زندگی_بعد_از_طرد_شدن#

#DışlandıktanSonrakiYaşam

الحياة_بعد_العزل#

لاتعلُّق کیونکہ۔#

 

#ShunnedBecause

چرا_طرد_شدم#

#DışlandımÇünkü

هجروني_لأنني#

لاتعلُّقی_ذہنی_اذیت_ہے#

Apostasy, Shunning and Survival Event extraordinary and inspiring

For #InternationalWomenDay2020, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and Born Free held a sold-out event on Apostasy, Shunning & Survival. It was an extraordinary and inspiring evening.

The event was opened by MC Nahla Mahmoud and began with a screening of the stunning film: “No Longer Without You”, a documentary about a searing conversation about parenthood, tradition, religion, sex, and independence between a free-spirited daughter, Nazmiye Oral and her traditional Muslim mother, Havva in the intimate circle of a living room in front of their family following several public performances.

This was followed by a panel discussion with Actress Nazmiye Oral, Youtuber Fay Rahman, Journalist Khadija Khan, Student Activist Saff Khalique, Clinical Psychologist Savin Bapir-Tardy and Født Fri (Born Free) Foundation Director Shabana Rehman. Chair: CEMB Spokesperson Maryam Namazie.

The evening ended with a poem by Playwright and Poet Elewisa Mwhamadu Kuusi.

The speakers highlighted the adverse effects of shunning and called for an end to shunning and for all to #ShunShunning.

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