Australian human rights activist who helps Muslim women leave the religion is charged with blasphemy in Tanzania for ‘mocking its president for his handling of coronavirus’
- Australian woman arrested in Tanzania for blasphemy after Covid posts
- She renounced Islam and now supports other women who do the same
- Zara Kay was arrested on December 28 and held for 32 hours in prison
- Her passport has reportedly been confiscated so that she can’t return home
An Australian academic who renounced Islam and created an organisation helping other women who do the same has been arrested and charged with blasphemy in Tanzania.
Zara Kay was ordered to a local police station in Dar es Salaam on December 28, where she was put into custody for 32 hours.
Ms Kay, who was born in Tanzania, was allegedly questioned about why she left Islam, and was eventually charged in relation to a satirical post she allegedly made on social media about the nation’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
She is also accused of not handing in her Tanzanian passport after she gained Australian citizenship.
Zara Kay was reportedly ordered to a local police station in Dar es Salaam on December 28, where she was put into custody for 32 hours
Back in 2018, the Monash University educated activist founded Faithless Hijabi, an organisation dedicated to supporting women as they transition away from Islam.
The foundation works closely with women who have been ostracised from family and friends or even abused for choosing to renounce their faith.
She shared a social media post on December 28 to explain that she had been accused of blasphemy, and is also believed to have been charged with using a phone SIM card that is not registered in her name.
The Coalition of Ex-Muslims have called on the Tanzanian government to release Ms Kay and drop all charges, effectively allowing her to return to Australia.
She shared a social media post on December 28 to explain that she had been accused of blasphemy
Back in 2018, the Monash University educated activist founded Faithless Hijabi, an organisation dedicated to supporting women as they transition away from Islam
‘The constitution of Tanzania enshrines secularism as a state principle and recognises freedom of expression and of conscience,’ a statement released this week reads.
They are also asking the Australian government to intervene and help Ms Kay come back home.
Ms Kay’s Australian passport was reportedly confiscated when she was granted bail on December 29.
According to the statement, Ms Kay was initially held for 32 hours without any indication over whether she would be charged or what the charges would be.
A spokesperson from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said consular assistance is being provided to an Australian passport holder in Tanzania.
‘The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance to an Australian in Tanzania,’ the statement read.
‘Owing to our privacy obligations we will not provide further comment.’
The Coalition of Ex-Muslims has urged the public to contact Tanzanian embassies and urge ambassadors to assist Ms Kay.
The Coalition of Ex-Muslims has urged the public to contact Tanzanian embassies and urge ambassadors to assist Ms Kay