The Indonesian court has decided to bar media coverage on the trial of the Chinese-Christian Governor of Jakarta. The Governor, popularly known as Ahok, is being tried for blasphemy against the Quran. The ruling to keep reporters out is being made to protect witnesses against Ahok. Some claim that the charges against Ahok are merely a tool by his political opponent to gain the upper hand in the upcoming election scheduled for this year. Tens-of-thousands of hardline Muslims have protested against Ahok and called for his arrest, many of whom feel that they should not be governed by a non-Muslim.
1/3/2017 Indonesia (The New York Times) – An Indonesian court ruled Tuesday that witness testimony will be closed to the media in the blasphemy trial of the capital’s minority Christian governor.
Jakarta Gov. Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama is charged with insulting Islam and desecrating the Quran by using one of its verses to boost his chances of winning re-election. Ahok, 50, is seeking a second term as governor in elections due in February.
The blasphemy controversy erupted when a video circulated online in which Ahok lightheartedly said people were being deceived if they believed his detractors who asserted that the Quran prohibits Muslims from having a non-Muslim leader.