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  • Court sentences Chinese governor Ahok 2 years in prison for blasphemy against Islam

    Court sentences Ahok to two years in prison for blasphemy



    Jakarta's Christian governor was sentenced to two years in jail for blasphemy against Islam today, a harsher than expected ruling in a trial that was seen as a test of religious tolerance in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority nation.

    The guilty verdict comes amid concern about the growing influence of Islamist groups, who organised mass demonstrations during a tumultuous election campaign that ended with Basuki Tjahaja Purnama losing his bid for another term as governor.

    President Joko Widodo was an ally of Purnama, an ethnic-Chinese Christian who is popularly known as "Ahok", and the verdict will be a blow to a government that has sought to quell radical groups and soothe investors' concerns that the country's secular values were at risk.

    As thousands of supporters and opponents waited outside, the head judge of the south Jakarta court, Dwiarso Budi Santiarto, said 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".

    Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch described the verdict as "a huge setback" for Indonesia's record of tolerance and for minorities.

    "If someone like Ahok, the governor of the capital, backed by the country's largest political party, ally of the president, can be jailed on groundless accusations, what will others do?" Harsono said.



    Supporters shocked

    Thousands of police were deployed in the capital early today in case clashes broke out, but there was no immediate sign of any violence after the court's verdict.

    Purnama told the court he would appeal the ruling.

    There was shock among his supporters outside the court and some wept openly.

    Prosecutors had urged a suspended one-year jail sentence on charges of hate speech. The maximum sentence is four years in prison for hate speech and five years for blasphemy.

    Hardline Islamist groups had urged the maximum penalty possible over comments by Purnama that they said were insulting to the Islamic holy book, the Quran.

    Purnama denied wrongdoing, though he apologised for comments he made last year criticising his opponents' use of the Quran in political campaigning ahead of the election for governor.

    Purnama lost his bid for re-election to a Muslim rival, Anies Baswedan, in an April run-off - after the most divisive and religiously charged election in recent years. He will hand over to Baswedan in October.

    Analysts say the radical Islamist groups that organised mass protests against Purnama had a decisive impact on the outcome of the election.

    Rights group fear they are in the ascendant in a country where most Muslims practise a moderate form of Islam and which is home to sizeable communities of Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, and people who adhere to traditional beliefs.

    The government has been criticised for not doing enough to protect religious minorities but Joko had urged restraint over the trial and called for all sides to respect the legal process.

    His government said yesterday it would take legal steps to disband Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), a group that seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate, because its activities were creating social tensions and threatening security.

    Blasphemy law

    Indonesia's blasphemy law originated with a 1965 presidential decree from the country's first president, Sukarno, in response to demands from majority Muslim organisations urging a prohibition on deviant beliefs.

    It was made law in 1969, during the rule of a later president, Suharto. The law covers acts that deviate from the six officially recognised religions - Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism - as well as defamation of these religions and promotion of atheism.


    In theory, the law covers only actual deviation from set practices. However, there have been multiple cases of people being prosecuted under separate laws for voicing criticism of the faiths. Such offences are punishable by up to five years in prison.

    In 2002, a civil servant in West Sumatra, Alexander Aan, was sentenced to two years in prison for creating a Facebook group for local atheists that contained messages critical of Islam. The provisions banning the expression of hostility towards a religion and the promotion of atheism have been incorporated into the criminal code.

    In 2013, the Constitutional Court rejected a petition filed by activists who argued that the blasphemy law contravened the right to religious freedom, as set out in the constitution. The court argued that the blasphemy law was necessary to maintain public order.

    According to Amnesty International, at least 106 individuals have been prosecuted and convicted under blasphemy laws in Indonesia since 2005. Those convicted were mostly members of religious minorities or those who practised beliefs considered to be deviant.


    https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/381643#ixzz4ga2L0c5l

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Court sentences Chinese governor Ahok 2 years in prison for blasphemy against Islam started by galvatron prime View original post
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. 222's Avatar
      222 -
      Jakarta governor A Hok (Indo Nesian name: Basoeki Tjahaja Poernama) found guilty of blasphemy

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-39853280

      HTML Code:
      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-39853280

      9th May 2017




      Mr Purnama denied blasphemy and plans to appeal against his sentence

      The outgoing governor of Jakarta has been jailed for two years for blasphemy after judges handed down a sentence that was harsher than expected.


      Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, also known as Ahok, was accused of insulting Islam by referring to a verse in the Koran in a campaign speech last year.

      Mr Purnama, a Christian in Muslim-majority Indonesia, has denied blasphemy and plans to appeal.
      His case was seen as a test of the country's religious tolerance.

      Mr Purnama was taken into custody immediately after the verdict was read out. His deputy Djarot Saiful Hidayat will govern Jakarta until the term ends in October.


      Jailed Jakarta Governor Purnama 'a martyr of free speech'

      Who is Jakarta's outgoing governor?



      The sentence was harsher than that requested by prosecutors, which was a one-year suspended 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.

      The verdict was met with strong protest. Hard-line Islamic groups who called for the maximum penalty of five years said it was too lenient, but Mr Purnama's supporters said it was too harsh and that he 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.


      @Dreamhunter @Kashmius



      Many Ahok supporters were upset after the verdict was read out



      Outside the court supporters of Governor Ahok broke down in tears when they heard the verdict. Some hugged each other.

      Andi, a devoted Muslim, said she felt heartbroken. "He was such a good man and great leader... He didn't care what religion people were. Now he has been framed," she said.

      Many here believe the case against him is politically motivated. But a short distance away, the atmosphere among the governor's critics - a coalition of Islamic groups - was one of anger.

      "The sentence is too light, he should have got the maximum of five years, or better still be hung," said Solihin.

      Men around him then threw their fists in the air and cried out that God would hand out justice. Riot police closed ranks to make sure both sides did not meet.

      The battle is far from over. Governor Ahok will appeal the decision. Islamic groups who oppose him say they will push for a harsher sentence.

      Mr Purnama was accused of blasphemy for comments he made during a pre-election speech in September 2016.

      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 hard-liners.

      They staged regular large rallies calling for him to face trial.

      Throughout the trial, Mr Purnama denied wrongdoing, but did apologise for his comments.


      @CAsian



      Some protesters were angry at the sentence and felt it was too lenient

      Mr Purnama became governor after his predecessor, Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, was elected president in 2014.
      As an ethnic Chinese Indonesian and Christian he is a double minority, and was Jakarta's first non-Muslim governor for 50 years.

      His political success was also seen as a significant development given the violent anti-Chinese riots that occurred in the city in 1998.

      Before the blasphemy allegations, he had been widely hailed as a straight-talking politician with a strong anti-corruption stance.

      But the controversy overshadowed scheduled elections last month.

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

      Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country. About 85% of its population are Muslim, but the country officially respects six religions.


      @PrinceValiant
    1. 222's Avatar
      222 -
      @Dreamhunter @CAsian @Kashmius

      Quote Originally Posted by 222 View Post



      Some protesters were angry at the sentence and felt it was too lenient

      The protestors want to Mr. Poernama to be jailed sentence for AT LEAST 5 (five) years, but the others also want to Mr. Pornama a.k.a. A Hok to be punished as ether in caning law (Malay: dihukum Cambuk / whiped), death sentence, or be beheaded.

      "Behead" / head cut off is one of the core costume of most Austronesian tribes / nations and others in South East Asia, Japan, Korean, Africa, Americas and some in Europe. @Crystallised Dream



      We love Japan. @SapphireSky @Jajapinay @Karasara @cydevil






      Many of the supporters also want to Mr. A Hok to be beheaded, like the Japanese Samurai (Katana, Japan Sword) did to the prisoners and their enemies during their occupation on China, Korea, Manchuria, and SouthEast Asia.

      Many civilians and White Europeans were executed by the Japanese in about World War era.
      See "Nam Kinh Massacre Tragedy" in 1937 by Japan.

      Mr. A Hok and their supporters are just such a joke.
      They, especially the "Chinese" minority and non-Muslims have to learn more about the true power of Islam.

      In Indo Nesia and Malaysia, Islam is the only weapon to stop the Western foreigner invaders and Chinese interventions in SouthEast Asia and even whole Asia.
    1. Dreamhunter's Avatar
      Dreamhunter -
      Well, in terms of demographics, Indonesia is like 95% Muslim ... So, Mr. Ahok, as an Indonesian born Chinese, shud hv known much better than to be indulging in some mindless anti-Islam buffoonery ... He had it coming to him , I guess ...

      And if GalvatronPrime is a Chinese Indonesian, instead of a Chinese Malaysian, he certainly wud not be still getting away scott-free with his relentless, indiscriminate copy-pasting of Islamophobic, anti-Muslim articles on an on-line public discussion forum, for sure ...
    1. Karasara's Avatar
      Karasara -
    1. cydevil's Avatar
      cydevil -
      double
    1. cydevil's Avatar
      cydevil -
      It seems religion has a strong role in Indonesian social identity. To put this into perspective, national identity is dominant in Korea, so something like this would be saying something "blasphemous" on Korean nationalist identity. Saying things like Japan was right to colonize Korea for the good of the nation. So if someone said something like that, would he be jailed? I don't think so. So my opinion is that the Indonesian government went a bit too far in this case, and the politician in question should be freed.
      @Crystallised Dream Any thoughts? Does having faith in Christainity really pose an existential threat to Malay social identity?
    1. Jajapinay's Avatar
      Jajapinay -
      I'm all for free speech. In this context, bashing the sensitive topics like religion is a bad idea and it will rub some people the wrong way. That's why he got himself in trouble with the government. What he has to do is it's best for him to keep his opinions regarding religion to himself. So, it wouldn't land him in a jail.
    1. 222's Avatar
      222 -
      @GalvatronPrime @CrystallisedDream @cydevil @Jajapinay @SapphireSky

      Hey, wait a minute!

      Is the news about this Indonesian (ex) Jakarta's Governor Deputy, Mr. A Hok becoming popular or well known 'topic' in your home countries?

      You are from various countries, from Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, to Aussie and U.S.A. , ...

      I wonder if his name become 'hit' in your home countries' daily news?

      I don't know if I should be happy or sad, that this gives Indonesia the bad name.



      Quote Originally Posted by Dreamhunter View Post
      Well, in terms of demographics, Indonesia is like 95% Muslim ... So, Mr. Ahok, as an Indonesian born Chinese, shud hv known much better than to be indulging in some mindless anti-Islam buffoonery ... He had it coming to him , I guess ...

      And if GalvatronPrime is a Chinese Indonesian, instead of a Chinese Malaysian, he certainly wud not be still getting away scott-free with his relentless copy-pasting of Islamophobic, anti-Muslim articles on an on-line public discussion forum, for sure ..
      @Dreamhunter


      'GEGER' Bukan Hanya Jakarta, Aksi Solidaritas Untuk AHOK dari Seluruh Indonesia (HEBOH)




      I wonder if this is just exaggeration or not, but I am quite surprised that there are significant number of the supporters of Mr. A Hok around Indonesia and even overseas, and many of them are non-"Chinese" and even Muslims!

      And they are demanding the Court to release Mr. A Hok from the prison inmates now.

      So they are conducting the protest against Indo Nesian, Jakarta law court, give flowers, flame the "thousands" candle lights, line of march, singing the patriotic songs, and speech orations.

      And this is not only in Jakarta, but many other cities around Indo Nesia,
      But I guess many of these cities have significant Christian or non-Muslim communities and also sizeable "Chinese" population.



      Quote Originally Posted by cydevil View Post
      It seems religion has a strong role in Indonesian social identity. To put this into perspective, national identity is dominant in Korea, so something like this would be saying something "blasphemous" on Korean nationalist identity. Saying things like Japan was right to colonize Korea for the good of the nation. So if someone said something like that, would he be jailed? I don't think so. So my opinion is that the Indonesian government went a bit too far in this case, and the politician in question should be freed.
      @Crystallised Dream Any thoughts? Does having faith in Christainity really pose an existential threat to Malay social identity?
      @cydevil

      Mr. A Hok is viewed as bad person not only because of this "blasphemy" case against Islam, but also his "crimes" and "attitude".

      According to the judge of Court verdicts, he (Mr. A Hok) is clearly that he was looking down on Islam and degrading the Muslims.

      Mr. A Hok also is suspect for many corruption cases in Jakarta, such as cracking a hospital fund, reclamations, evictions, public transportations fund, and many more... since early 2015 till today 2017.

      I wonder how about Mrs. Park Geun-Hye, the retired, ex-president of South Korea?



      Quote Originally Posted by Jajapinay View Post
      I'm all for free speech. In this context, bashing the sensitive topics like religion is a bad idea and it will rub some people the wrong way. That's why he got himself in trouble with the government. What he has to do is it's best for him to keep his opinions regarding religion to himself. So, it wouldn't land him in a jail.
      @Jajapinay


      I wonder what's happening to their supporters?
      Mr. A Hok is viewed by them as un-guilty, but he's just "victimized" by his opponent politicans and governments.
      He is regarded as he is spotless and clean... No way!

      This is the quite good lesson for Mr. A Hok to not to play around and mess with Islam and the Muslims.

      So Mr. A Hok and his team / supporters must face the "true power" of Islam.

      This is easy to search the news in Google, from November 4th 2016 set in the National Monument of Jakarta,

      It was probably one the biggest Muslim demonstrations protest against the governmental that ever conducted in Jakarta, Indo Nesia.
    1. cydevil's Avatar
      cydevil -
      Quote Originally Posted by 222 View Post
      @GalvatronPrime @CrystallisedDream @cydevil @Jajapinay @SapphireSky

      Hey, wait a minute!

      Is the news about this Indonesian (ex) Jakarta's Governor Deputy, Mr. A Hok becoming popular or well known 'topic' in your home countries?

      You are from various countries, from Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, to Aussie and U.S.A. , ...

      I wonder if his name become 'hit' in your home countries' daily news?

      I don't know if I should be happy or sad, that this gives Indonesia the bad name.
      You summoned me here. Using @cydevil.

      I knew this case from another international forum, but I didn't have much interest in it. In the South Korean media, I can see about 10 articles, which isn't many. It's not a very significant news.

      Anyways, my opinion is that,

      According to the judge of Court verdicts, he (Mr. A Hok) is clearly that he was looking down on Islam and degrading the Muslims.
      That will probably cost him his political career, but I don't think he deserves jail time. Maybe suspended jail time? In Korea, the only thing that can land you some jail time for a political opinion is treason. There was a pro-North political party that was forcefully dissolved due to orchestrating organized activities under North Korean orders. Does this concept of blasphemy amount to treason? I don't know, in South Korea it wouldn't be, but considering religious identity seem more important in Malaysia/Indonesia, the situation there could be different. This is why I'd really like @Crystallised Dream's input on the matter.

      Mr. A Hok also is suspect for many corruption cases in Jakarta, such as cracking a hospital fund, reclamations, evictions, public transportations fund, and many more... since early 2015 till today 2017.
      Well, then he should get a fair trial and be convicted of it.
    1. PrinceValiant's Avatar
      PrinceValiant -
      As long as Islamic laws don't touch me, I will stay silent on my opinions about that religion.

      Non-Muslim Politicians need to tread carefully in Islamic countries.
    1. 222's Avatar
      222 -
      Quote Originally Posted by PrinceValiant View Post
      As long as Islamic laws don't touch me, I will stay silent on my opinions about that religion.

      Non-Muslim Politicians need to tread carefully in Islamic countries.
      Yes, this is better to discuss with Indonesian Muslims here.

      I am not Muslim. But I always try to look this kind of case in "neutral" way,

      The Muslims, in this case, the Indo Nesians, Malaysians have "rights" to do so, as "Chinese" also since long time ago are viewed as "unloyal" minority group, and kind of their "behavior" to not respect the natives land.

      But their number of population is so huge, and they oten have significant role economically and politically control.

      Malaysia lost Singapore already, which belongs to Johor Sultanate of the Malaya peninsula.

      So, Brother PrinceValiant, Abang DreamHunter, Sister CrystyallisedDream, and others, ... it is you to judge, and rightful to support him - standing on his side, or otherwise.

      The Muslims of IndoNesia and Malaysia are basically respectful and very kind hearted to all people, polite, even sometimes to their "enemies", but we have to respect them also, and should understand why they mistreat Mr. A Hok and his people / team, who are of course including the "Chinese" and "non-Muslim", possibly near the half of the supporter team.

      Mr. A Hok and their supporters also should understand why they are disliked by the Muslims majority around them,


      In this hard time, the waves of protest against law Court to release Mr. A Hok are still going on.
      You might be surprised that probably, likely majority of them are the natives (Non-Chinese) and even the fellow Muslims.
      Their solidarity must be given applause and deep respectfully.

      Many of the Muslims here also on Mr. A Hok side and disagree if he should be jailed just because of this.


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