Blasphemy trial of Indonesian capital’s governor begins

Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as "Ahok", sits on the defendant's chair at the start of his trial hearing at North Jakarta District Court in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The blasphemy trial of the Indonesian capital’s minority Christian governor began on Tuesday after massive protests led by hard-line Muslim groups seeking his arrest.

Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, an ally of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, faces up to five years in prison if found guilty.

The blasphemy controversy erupted in September when a video circulated online in which Mr. Ahok said people were being deceived if they believed his detractors who asserted that the Quran prohibits Muslims having a non-Muslim leader. He is seeking a second term as governor in elections due February.

Anti-and pro-Ahok groups gathered outside the court.

A November 4 protest in Jakarta against Mr. Ahok turned violent, with one death and dozens injured.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 3:14:14 AM |

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