Our organization Atheist Freethinkers has signed the declaration in support of Zara Kay on the Faithless Hijabi site.
You are invited to share the declaration using the following hashtags and URL:
Justice for @zarakayk Please keep supporting Zara until she is safe home. #JusticeForZaraKay #JusticeForZara #StandUpForZaraKay Faithless Hijabi
Here is a copy of the declaration:
Zara Kay, an Australian citizen and founder of Faithless Hijabi, was summoned to the Dar es-Salaam Oysterbay Police Station in Tanzania on 28 December 2020 and held in police custody for 32 hours without a clear indication of charges.
Zara is a well-known ex-Muslim and women’s rights activist. Whilst in police custody, Zara was asked about the work of her organisation and why she left Islam. Zara was released on bail and is now to return to the police station with her lawyer on 5 January 2021.
The charges against her are:
- Social media posts deemed to be critical of the president of Tanzania (these light satirical posts were posted in May when Zara was in London, addressing the handling of Covid-19 in Tanzania)
- Not returning her Tanzanian passport after gaining Australian citizenship (she never returned her Tanzanian passport as she misplaced and never used it after gaining Australian citizenship)
- Using a SIM-card not registered in her name (this was registered in a family member’s name). Failure to register SIM-cards legislation has been used to persecute other high-profile cases.
We, the undersigned, call on the Tanzanian government to immediately drop all the politically-motivated charges against Zara Kay, return her passport and allow her to leave Tanzania. The constitution of Tanzania enshrines secularism as a state principle and recognises freedom of expression and of conscience. We also call on the Australian authorities to intervene and get Zara home to safety.