Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Governor bags 2 year jail term for blasphemy against Islam

The outgoing governor of Jakarta has been sentenced to two years in prison for blasphemy and inciting violence.

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok, was the first ethnic Chinese Christian to run Indonesia’s capital,was accused of insulting Islam by referring to a verse in the Koran during a campaign speech.

Mr Purnama denied blasphemy and in court said he would mount an appeal.


The sentence is harsher than most observers had expected – prosecutors had called for a suspended one-year sentence.

The governor was “found to have legitimately and convincingly conducted a criminal act of blasphemy, and because of that we have imposed two years of imprisonment,” the judge told the court.

Mr Purnama was accused of blasphemy for comments he made during a pre-election speech last September.

He implied that Islamic leaders were trying to trick voters by using a verse in the Koran to argue that Muslims should not vote for a non-Muslim leader.

His remarks, which were widely shared in an edited video, sparked outrage among religious hardliners.

Throughout the trial, Mr Purnama denied wrongdoing, but did apologise for his comments nonetheless.
Disappointed with the eventual verdict, some protesters demanded the outgoing governor to be hanged.

Mr Purnama became governor after his predecessor, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, was elected president in 2014.

As an ethnic Chinese Indonesian and Christian ,he was Jakarta’s first non-Muslim governor for 50 years.
Indonesia is the world’s most-populous Muslim country. About 85% of its population are Muslim, but the country officially respects six religions.

BBC

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