Jakarta governor sentenced to 2 years prison for blasphemy

As a Christian and ethnic Chinese, he is doubly disadvantaged in Indonesia's predominantly Muslim society, in which Christians are increasingly under pressure.

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

After the verdict, the governor was taken to a Jakarta prison but it was unclear whether he would remain in jail or be released later to allow him to file his appeal. Ahok's deputy Djarot Saiful Hidayat will govern Jakarta until his term ends in October.

TV news coverage of the scene outside the court showed some supporters weeping.Prosecutors had called for a suspended one-year jail sentence on charges of hate speech.

The Guardian reports that the head judge of the country's five-judge panel, Dwiarso Budi Santiarto, told the court Purnama was "found to have legitimately and convincingly conducted a criminal act of blasphemy, and because of that we have imposed two years of imprisonment". Protesters for and against the governor had gathered outside the court ahead of the verdict.

But Ahok supporter Adrian Sianturi said the trial was a victory for intolerance and corruption. Some hugged each other.

The AsiaNews service quoted Justina Rostiawait, president of the Indonesian Catholic Women's Association, as saying: "The judges' verdict has been massively influenced by the corrupt political situation in Indonesia". But a short distance away, the atmosphere among the governor's critics - a coalition of Islamic groups - was one of anger. While lots of Islamic groups called for the maximum penalty of five years, few groups think the court verdict was too harsh and Ahok should be acquitted.


The battle is far from over.

Ahok was said to have made blasphemy comments during a pre-election speech last September.

Rivals of Basuki told their supporters this meant they couldn't vote for him, and were bound by their faith to back a Muslim instead.

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

He denied wrongdoing, but apologized for his comments.

The government has been criticised for not doing enough to protect religious minorities but President Joko Widodo, a key ally of Purnama's, had urged restraint over the trial and called for all sides to respect the legal process. Ahok's political success was seen as a significant development in a city where anti-Chinese riots occurred in 1998.

Despite his enduring popularity with many in Jakarta for his efforts to improve living standards, he lost to conservative Muslim candidate Anies Rasyid Baswedan.

Related News:

  • U.S.  to arm Syrian Kurds fighting ISIS despite Turkish opposition

    U.S. to arm Syrian Kurds fighting ISIS despite Turkish opposition

    The decision to arm the Syrian Kurds will likely cast a shadow over Erdogan's visit to Washington , policy experts said. The official has no confirmed or disclosed just how soon arms would start being delievered to Kurdish fighters.
    Syrian FM says no foreign troops on the ground

    Syrian FM says no foreign troops on the ground

    The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said hundreds are expected to leave Barzeh to head to the country's north. A spokesman for the United Nations special envoy to Syria , Staffan de Mistura, declined to comment on the minister's remarks.
    James helps Cavs hold off Pacers, earn sweep into 2nd round

    James helps Cavs hold off Pacers, earn sweep into 2nd round

    In the final five minutes, the Rockets started fouling Andre Roberson after Roberson missed his first six free throws of the game. James hasn't lost a first-round series game since 2012, and his undefeated streak should be extended for at least one more year.
  • Portion of tunnel containing nuke waste collapses at Hanford

    Portion of tunnel containing nuke waste collapses at Hanford

    Considering all the disgusting stuff still contained within America's most contaminated nuclear site, that did not sound good. The depth of the soil collapse appears to have reached the tunnel, Hanford's emergency information site says .
    Frost advisory issued for Waterloo Region and Wellington County

    Frost advisory issued for Waterloo Region and Wellington County

    Environment Canada says temperatures "will slowly recover" to above the freezing mark on Monday morning. The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids says temperatures will fall to 25 to 30 degrees tonight.
    Tiffany Trump Is Headed To Washington -- But Not To Work For Daddy!

    Tiffany Trump Is Headed To Washington -- But Not To Work For Daddy!

    Tiffany Trump, the president's youngest daughter, has chosen to attend law school at Georgetown University in the fall. In addition to Kushner, Tiffany's aunt Maryanne Trump Barry also attended law school, graduating from Hofstra.
  • Kattappa Romancing Sivagami In This Video Will Surprise Baahubali Fans

    Kattappa Romancing Sivagami In This Video Will Surprise Baahubali Fans

    However, the actress demanded for a whopping 6 crores which resulted in the makers opting for Ramya who settled for 2.5 crores. The audience appreciated Ramya Krishnan for her uncompromising performance in the sequel Baahubali 2 too.

    Tillerson meets ASEAN ministers to seek support on North Korea

    The country has an annual trade of US$100 billion supporting half a million U.S.jobs and US$274 billion of USA investment. The United States and South Korea also held their largest ever joint military exercises in the past two months.

    Capitals replace Holtby in goal for 3rd period of Game 2

    Pittsburgh RW Patric Hornqvist left the game in the first period after blocking a shot by John Carlson and did not return. The puck drops at 8 p.m. on WPXI-TV Channel 11, but we'll get you ready with a special edition of 11 On the Ice at 7 p.m.
  • Politicos hail SC judgement in Nirbhaya case

    Politicos hail SC judgement in Nirbhaya case

    Courts are flooded with cases, but the judiciary should track those which may end up in a death sentence and expedite them. The matter was heard by the apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra and consisting of Justices R.
    Aric Almirola wins Xfinity Series race at Talladega

    Aric Almirola wins Xfinity Series race at Talladega

    Allgaier gave up the lead to Logano on a Logano crossover move, but Almirola got by him. He's followed by Martin Truex Jr ., Chase Elliott , Joey Logano and Brad Keselowksi.
    Akhilesh expels five SP men, including Shivpal loyalists

    Akhilesh expels five SP men, including Shivpal loyalists

    Mulayam admitted that Shivpal was angry but stressed that the latter had worked hard for the party. Akhilesh came out with a cryptic reply, saying he very well know "aasteen ke saanp" (traitors).


Most liked

Fireworks Cache Explodes in Mexico, Killing at Least 12
Saints' days, Christmas and New Year parties in many Latin American countries often wrap up with a fireworks free-for-all. The San Pablito market had been rocked by two explosions in the past: in September 2005 and again the following year.

Indian and Pakistani Army trade fire on LoC in J-K
Naib Subedar Paramjeet Singh and BSF Head Constable Prem Sagar were shot down in an ambush and their bodies beheaded by the BAT after sneaking 250 metres into the Indian territory.

Sharapova more disappointed to lose early than to Bouchard
But Bouchard said beforehand that she felt more motivation for this match than usual. "I know what the drill is", she said. Against Mladenovic in Stuttgart, Sharapova had three break points to earn a shot at closing the match in straight sets.

Teen's plea for free Wendy's nuggets sets retweet record
It should be noted that DeGeneres's tweet, while star-studded, wasn't premised on a campaign to get re-shared, like Wilkerson's. The fast food chain is also going to make a donation of $100,000 to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption in Wilkerson's name.

Nigeria president seeks treatment in London
The ICRC tweet shows a line of girls wearing shirts with the Red Cross logo walking across a runway to a waiting helicopter. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to reporters on the matter.

Syria fighting eases as safe zones plan begins
Russian officials said it will be at least another month until the details are worked out and the safe areas established. He said states that are not parties to the memorandum on deescalation zones could also take part in the monitoring.

Jaskin, Schwartz score as Blues beat Predators 2-1
After advancing the second round for the third year in a row, the Predators have matched up against the St. The Nashville Predators may have been the last team in the Western Conference this postseason.

Beyond 100 days, Trump faces more legislative challenges
Back were adamant promises to renegotiate NAFTA, build a border wall, and return mining and factory jobs to Pennsylvania. At the 100-day mark, polls show that Trump's supporters during the campaign remain largely in his corner.

Thomas scores 53, Celtics beat Wizards 129-119 in OT
That's roughly 4,200 miles in the air in little more than 24 hours. "It's tough, but it's the playoffs so there are no excuses. The second game of the second round of the NBA Playoffs between the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards takes place tonight.

Golden State Warriors Have Good Shot at Finals
Nevertheless, it still wasn't almost enough as Golden State's onslaught of talent left the Jazz reeling and desperate for answers. At one point in the fourth quarter, it ran onto the court, so Durant didn't mince his words.

Officer who fatally shot boy, 15, in Texas is fired
They also draw comparisons between Edwards' death and other previous police shootings of young Black men. Harber said he released the mistaken information based on an account given to him by the officer.

Trump to visit Israel, Saudi Arabia, Vatican, meet with pope
Trump has also already met with Israeli and Palestinian leadership and has pledged to broker a peace deal between the two sides. Trump wants to use the trip to create a stronger coalition against the Islamic State and Iran, aides said.

Comment: Conservative comeback the story so far of Scottish council elections
After just three wards were declared in Glasgow, it became clear Labour would not be able to retain overall control there. The First Minister said the Conservatives had done well "by their standards".

Le Pen thrives among French poor, vote analysis shows
And they fear pollsters will fail to capture a quiet constituency willing to vote for Le Pen in the privacy of the voting booth. Twenty-nine people were detained at the Bastille, where protesters waved red flags and sang "No Marine and No Macron!"

North Korea accuses US, South Korea of assassination attempt
The article also claimed 330,000 U.S. soldiers took part in military drills created to rehearse an "all-out war" with North Korea. USA and South Korean agents are plotting to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, North Korean state media report.