Jakarta (AFP) – Jakarta’s Christian governor was jailed for two years Tuesday after being found guilty of committing blasphemy, capping a saga seen as a test of religious tolerance in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.
Presiding judge Dwiarso Budi Santiarto told the Jakarta court that Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was “convincingly guilty of committing blasphemy and is sentenced to two years in prison”.
He ordered Purnama, known by his nickname Ahok, to be detained. Purnama said: “We will file an appeal.” Islamic hardliners outside the court cheered as news of verdict emerged and shouted “God is greatest”.
Purnama was hauled into court last year to face trial for allegedly insulting Islam while campaigning for re-election in a case critics said was politically motivated.
The trial came after a series of major protests against the capital’s leader that drew hundreds of thousands onto the streets.
His once unassailable opinion poll lead shrank amid the controversy and he lost the race to lead Jakarta last month to a Muslim challenger, a result that fuelled fears of Indonesia’s moderate brand of Islam coming under threat from increasingly influential radicals.
<figure><figcaption>Jakarta's Christian governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (bottom L), is convicted of blasphemy and sentneced to two eyars in prison, May 9, 2017 <span>Copyright POOL/AFP Bay ISMOYO </span> </figcaption></figure>