World Watch Monitor, December 11, 2018
Jakarta’s former governor, “Ahok”, sentenced last year to 2 years in jail for blaspheming Islam, is to be freed from prison for good behaviour, 4 months ahead of schedule.
As the first Christian to govern Indonesia’s capital since the 1960s, he had accused his political opponents of using Quranic verses to dissuade Muslims from voting for him in his bid for re-election as Jakarta governor.
Prosecutors downgraded the blasphemy charges against him and recommended he serve no prison time if guilty, but the judge decided a harsher punishment was in order.
His sentence was globally condemned by politicians, academics and rights groups expressing concerns about the growing threat to religious pluralism in Indonesia.
The former chairman of the second largest Islamic group in Indonesia said that the charges against the Christian governor had been fabricated for political purposes.