Jakarta governor Ahok found guilty after landmark Indonesian blasphemy trial


Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama enters the court room as he attends his sentencing hearing in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, May 9.
(CNN)Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, commonly known as Ahok, has been sentenced to two years in prison, after being found guilty of blasphemy in a trial seen as a test of Indonesia’s religious tolerance.
In April, prosecutors called for the blasphemy counts to be dropped in exchange for a lesser charge of “spreading hate,” but the judges appear to have ignored that recommendation.
The controversial Chinese Christian politician was put on trial in December over accusations that he insulted Islam while campaigning to retain his role. The Jakarta governor denied the charges.
Ahok quoted a verse from the Quran to prove to his supporters that there were no restrictions on Muslims voting for a non-Muslim politician.
Since an edited video of his remarks was released, hundreds of thousands of Muslim Indonesians protested against him on the streets of Jakarta, with many calling for his jailing.
Roads near the Agriculture Ministry where the verdict was due to be delivered were closed from Monday evening in preparation, local media reported.
The verdict comes less than a month after Ahok lost his bid for re-election as Jakarta governor, a result some experts attributed to his ongoing trial.


Muslim protesters marched on Jakarta’s governor’s office on Friday, November 4. Tens of thousands of Muslims descended upon the Indonesian capital demanding Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama — commonly known as Ahok — be prosecuted on accusations that he committed blasphemy.





Muslim protesters marched on Jakarta’s governor’s office on Friday, November 4. Tens of thousands of Muslims descended upon the Indonesian capital demanding Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama — commonly known as Ahok — be prosecuted on accusations that he committed blasphemy.

He was defeated by former Indonesian education and culture minister Anies Baswedan, a Muslim, after a campaign riven by religious tensions.
On the day of the election, the Jakarta Post editorial board described the campaign as the “dirtiest, most polarizing and divisive” ever seen in Indonesia.

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