This is a sad day for Indonesia. Incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known by his nickname Ahok) was found guilty of blasphemy by the North Jakarta District Court and sentenced to two years in prison. After the verdict Ahok was immediately taken into custody, implying Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat now replaces Ahok until the end of his term in October 2017.
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Today's Headlines Blasphemy
It is no surprise that Jakarta prosecution only demands a relatively light sentence for incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known by his nickname Ahok) for his alleged blasphemous speech in late-2016. On Thursday (20/04) prosecution announced their recommendation of two years of probation for Ahok. The announcement came (deliberately) one day after the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election. Based on the quick count results Ahok was defeated by Anies Baswedan in this election and so we assume that this blasphemy trial has now lost its significance.
A new rally, organized by the Indonesian Muslim Forum (FUI), will be staged on Tuesday (21/02) in front of Jakarta's national legislative complex on Jalan Gatot Subroto in Senayan (South Jakarta). An estimated 10,000 protesters will urge authorities (in this so-called "212 rally") to suspend Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok). Ahok is currently on trial for blasphemy based on a manipulated video that surfaced on social media last year.
Ahok's controversial blasphemy trial will continue. This is the decision of a panel of five judges that was announced on Tuesday (27/12) at the third session of the trial. At this session the judges of the Jakarta Court rejected defense arguments that the indictment contains inaccuracies, violates human rights and therefore should be annulled. The next session is scheduled for Tuesday 3 January 2017 at the Ministry of Agriculture building in South Jakarta. Blasphemy is an offense that carries a maximum prison sentence of five years in Indonesia.
After a first hearing on Tuesday (15/11) Indonesia's Police named incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki Cahaya Purnama (better known as Ahok) as suspect in a blasphemy investigation case, implying that he cannot leave the country while investigation is conducted. This announcement was made on Wednesday morning (16/11). About a dozen people filed blasphemy allegations against Ahok after a manipulated recording surfaced on social media showing him expressing disrespectful language about a specific Quranic verse during a speech in Kepulauan Seribu, off the coast of Jakarta, in early October.
Latest Columns Blasphemy
To us it came as a surprise to learn this morning that former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known as Ahok) decided not to appeal against his controversial blasphemy conviction earlier this month when the Jakarta Court found him guilty of insulting Islam and therefore sentenced him to two years in prison, a case that is regarded a setback for Indonesian pluralism and religious tolerance.
At the inauguration of the People's Conscience Party (Hanura)'s new central leadership board on Wednesday (22/02), Indonesian President Joko Widodo said "Indonesian democracy has recently gone over the top". He referred to the various controversial cases and demonstrations that have emerged in recent months involving hate speech related to race, religion, ethnicity and class.
Thousands of hardline Muslims gathered at Jakarta's Istiqlal mosque on Saturday (11/02) to protest against Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (popularly known as Ahok). Protesters accuse Ahok - a Christian of Chinese descent - of blasphemy (insulting Islam) based on a manipulated video in which he expressed inappropriate language that surfaced on social media in October 2016. The protest, locally called "Aksi 112" (Action of 11 February) is the fourth anti-Ahok protest over the past five months and has strong political motives.
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