Tuesday, 09 May 2017 14:13

JUST IN: Christian Governor Sentenced To 2 Years In Prison For 'Insulting Islam'

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The outgoing governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, also known as Ahok, has been jailed for two years. This is coming after he was found guilty for blasphemy. He was accused of insulting Islam by referring to a verse in the Koran in a re-election campaign speech December 2016. He used the Quran verse to prove to his supporters that there were no restrictions on Muslims voting for a non-Muslim politician. Ahok, who is a Christian in Muslim-majority Indonesia, repeatedly denied the charges and planned to appeal.

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. This case is seen as a test of the country's religious tolerance. And the verdict is perceived as politically motivated. The verdict raised lots of dusts amongst protesters outside the court. 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. Protesters from both camps had gathered outside the court, which was guarded by around 15,000 security personnel from the police and military. Mr Purnama was taken into custody immediately after the verdict was read out. Ahok's deputy Djarot Saiful Hidayat will govern Jakarta until his term ends in October.

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