The International Free Dorje Campaign

Dorje Gurung, a chemistry teacher from Nepal who had been teaching in Qatar, was jailed earlier this month on charges of insulting Islam. When news of this broke on Thursday, 9 May, Dorje's friends and contacts quickly came to his support. What ensued was four days of frantic, energised, round-the-clock campaigning. Then, on Monday, 13 May, Dorje was released from jail. How was international pressure built up so quickly and effectively? Piecing together bits and pieces from the social media trail, this timeline attempts to tell the story of the international Free Dorje campaign.

2013-05-09 10:30:00

Doha News: Dorje At Court

Dorje is brought before a lower court. If convicted, Article 256 of the Penal Code stipulates that he could face up to seven years in jail.

2013-05-09 15:00:10

'Free Dorje Gurung' Facebook Page created

The Facebook page will be a platform to keep friends and supporters updated, as well as to coordinate efforts globally.

2013-05-09 15:30:00

Letter Writing

Letters to the Qatari Embassy and the UWC International Committee are drafted.

2013-05-09 18:30:00

Formation of a Working Group

A 'Free Dorje Working Group' is created with the intention of building pressure and momentum as quickly as possible.

2013-05-09 21:00:00

#FreeDorje Hashtag created

2013-05-09 21:00:00

First #FreeDorje Tweet

The first #FreeDorje tweets comes from @stroeyer

2013-05-09 23:00:00

Online Petition Created @ Change.ORG

An online petition, titled "Government Of Qatar: Release Dorje Gurung", is created by Nathan Armogan.

2013-05-10 05:07:18


According to data provided by Change.Org, 1000 signatures are collected approximately 7 hours after the petition is created.

2013-05-10 08:00:00

#FreeDorje trends in Nepal

The #FreeDorje hashtag is trending in Nepal

2013-05-10 09:00:00

Washington Post: Qatar Jails a Nepali Teacher

Qatar jails a Nepali teacher on charges of insulting Islam, writes the Washington Post.

2013-05-10 12:00:00

Contacting Washington Post

A member of the Free Dorje campaign emails the Washington Post journalist to keep covering the story.

2013-05-10 14:00:00

Doha News: International Rallying

International community rallys around Nepalese teacher charged with insulting Islam, writes Doha News.

2013-05-10 15:00:00

Skype Strategy Call

Organising a Skype "Strategy Call" to discuss possible next steps to take. Open participation.

2013-05-10 23:50:00

Petition milestone: 7000

By the end of Friday, 10 May, 7000 people have signed the petition.

2013-05-10 23:55:10

Tumblr blog created

The working group agreed that there needs to be a place independent of the Facebook page for updates, longer posts and permanent pages.

2013-05-11 07:00:00

Tumblr Update

An update on the campaign, addressing questions and concerns, updates on Dorje, and the current plan of action.

2013-05-11 10:49:03

A Top Tweet from @intrepidteacher

If you were wrongfully arrested in #qatar wouldn't you hope that fellow teachers would come to your aid? Help @FreeDorjeGurung#FreeDorje

2013-05-11 12:43:28

A Power Tweet From @michaelfranti

@intrepidteacher tweeted @michaelfranti, who retweeted to over 50,000 followers

2013-05-11 15:00:00

Petition Milestone: 9000

Around mid-afternoon Qatari time, the number of signatures edges past the 9000 mark.

2013-05-11 21:00:00

Tumblr Update

Updates from Doha, Nepal and the Working Group.

2013-05-11 23:00:00

Petition Milestone: 10000

Approximately 44 hours after the petition launched, 10000 people have signed.

2013-05-12 10:30:00

A Power Tweet From @cafreeland

@maryhui tweeted @cafreeland, who retweeted to over 20,000 followers

2013-05-12 17:30:00

Confirmed: Dorje released from Jail

It is confirmed that Dorje was earlier in the afternoon released from jail.

2013-05-12 18:00:00

Facebook Community Responds With Joy & Relief

The Facebook community responds w relief & joy to the news of Dorje's release.

2013-05-12 23:05:00

Dorje won't be spending the night in jail!

Update from the Facebook Page: "It's 11:05pm in Doha, and for the first time since his arrest on May 1, Dorje will not be spending the night in jail.:

2013-05-12 23:05:00

Doha News: Dorje Released

Nepalese teacher accused of insulting Islam released from Qatar jail, writes Doha News.

2013-05-13 15:10:00

Dorje departs Doha, Qatar by plane

...and is on his way home.

2013-05-13 17:01:00

Washington Post: Dorje Freed

Teacher jailed on charges of insulting Islam is freed by Qatar, writes the Washington Post.

2013-05-13 22:01:00

Dorje lands in Kathmandu

Dorje arrives in Kathmandu at 22:01, local time.

2013-05-13 23:26:48

Petition closes at 14480 signatures

Approximately 97 hours after the petition launched, 14,480 signatures have been collected from 168 countries.

2013-05-13 23:59:00

"I'm home safe and sound!"

From Dorje: I still can find no words to thank you enough, words that sufficiently express my own and family’s gratitude...

The International Free Dorje Campaign

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