September 7, 2016
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland
Minister of International Trade
House of Commons
Canada K1A 0A6
RE: Concern for Canadian trade policies with Saudi Arabia with its continued persecution and abuse of atheists and apostates
Dear Minister Freeland:
As advocates for secular humanist rights, SCS is concerned about the continual persecution and abuse of atheists and apostates in Saudi Arabia. While that kingdom is infamous for its disrespect for human rights in general, it is particularly harsh in its treatment of atheists and apostates.
Indeed, Saudi Arabia has a law that automatically labels atheists and apostates as terrorists and makes them subject to the harsh treatment, including execution, that Saudi law specifies for terrorists.
Recently, a blogger who wrote directly about atheist ideas, although apparently did not speak out directly against religion, has been sentenced to ten years in prison and two thousand lashes.
In your mandate to promote international trade for Canada, please refrain from such promotion with Saudi Arabia until it significantly improves its human rights record, particularly in regards to atheists and apostates.
Doug Thomas, President