CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Blasphemy Trial Against Jakarta's Christian Governor to Continue at Indonesian Court

Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama
(Photo : Australian Embassy Jakarta/Flickr/CC) Christian Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama at TransJakarta Bus Headquarters which designed a new bus control centre and bus depot.

An Indonesian court will hear the blasphemy trial against Jakarta's Christian Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, a judge announced on Tuesday. Purnama is accused of insulting the Qur'an based on an edited video. The next court hearing will take place on January 3.

Purnama is campaigning for his second term in February 2017 elections.

The judges refused to dismiss the case on his lawyers' appeal which says that Purnama's human rights were neglected during the proceedings, and that there were several inaccuracies in the allegations.

In his first hearing on December 13, Purnama had denied that his intention was to insult Qur'an.

According to a report by Voice of America, Purnama said that what his comments were meant to refer to politicians who misinterpreted the verses "because they do not want to compete fairly in an election."

When the allegations of his insulting Qur'an were made public, hundreds of thousands of people took to streets to demand his arrest.

If convicted, he could face up to five years of imprisonment.

During yesterday's hearing, hundreds of Muslim opponents stood outside the court calling for his imprisonment, while his supporters were also present there under protection of the police.

Judge Dwiyarso Budi Santiarto said that Purnama could appeal to a higher court if they disagreed with court's decision.

A professor admitted to editing the video of Purnama's remarks while campaigning and posted the edited tape on Facebook to make it look like the governor was insulting the Qur'an.

Purnama is referring to the verse Surah 5:51, and says that "You've been lied to by [people] misquoting the 51st verse of the Al-Maidah."

But the video makes it seem that the governor is telling people that Qur'an lies to people.

The National Police had questioned the professor on November 17, and his lawyers also told local reporters that he admitted to editing the tape to distort governor's message.

Purnama is being supported by human rights activists, lawmakers as well as religious leaders.

Tags akarta's Christian Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, Indonesia, Indonesia Christian persecution, Indonesia religious freedom

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