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Jakarta governor “blasphemy” appeal goes to Supreme Court

South East Asia

Jakarta governor “blasphemy” appeal goes to Supreme Court

Former governor of Jakarta, ‘Ahok’ Tjahaha Purnama

The Christian former governor of Jakarta, “Ahok” Tjahaha Purnama, has launched an appeal of his “blasphemy” conviction in the Supreme Court.

Ahok’s lawyer stated that they will argue the local judges who sentenced him to two years in prison “made a mistake”.

The man who accused Ahok of “blasphemy” and doctored a video in which Ahok disputed Islamist claims that the Quran forbids Muslims being governed by non-Muslims has subsequently been jailed for hate speech for his actions.

Ahok’s lawyers are appealing for a case review, as the video footage formed the basis for the “blasphemy” allegation which resulted in Ahok’s conviction in a district court.

Ahok had been tipped to secure a second term as governor and been ahead in the polls, before Islamists engineered mass protests demanding he face trial for “blasphemy”. Islamists called on Indonesians to only vote for Muslim politicians to “defend Islam”. Ahok lost the election to a Muslim candidate who was sworn in to serve five-year term as Jakarta governor in October 2017.