In Indonesia, Ahok, the Christian ex-governor of Jakarta was recently released
Ahok, the ex-governor of Jakarta in Indonesia, was released on the 24th of January after two years of imprisonment
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as Ahok was arrested in May of 2017 for blasphemy.
He is a respected member of the Christian community of Indonesia. Some days before his release he asked his followers not to come to see him as he left prison in order to avoid any possible political conflict.
Two years ago, after an uprising of Islamic extremists, Ahok was given a prison sentence because he was found to be “disloyal” to the State. His arrest demonstrates the growth of religious intolerance in Indonesia, the most populated Muslim country in the world.
Elaine Pearson, the spokeswoman for Human Rights Watch, talked about another kind of problem in the country: “The unfair conviction of Ahok shows that minorities in Indonesia are in constant danger, due to the blasphemy laws.” Since 1968, more than 150 people have been imprisoned for blasphemy in the country.
However, despite the fact that religious liberty is guaranteed in the Constitution of Indonesia, the Islamic Republic added another article declaring that blasphemy was a crime that had to be punished. That is why, even though religious liberty is guaranteed in the constitution, members of religious minorities are targets of discrimination.
Source, photo: PortesOuvertes