The United State Ambassador to Indonesia, Joseph Donovan Jr Ambassador, spoke out against Indonesia’s blasphemy laws saying they jeopardize “the freedom of religion, expression, assembly and freedom of press.” He said, “we do not believe that it should be illegal to express an opinion about a religion.” Tension is especially high in Indonesia following the conviction of ethnic and religious minority, Ahok, who is the governor of Jakarta. Ahok was convicted of blasphemy against the Quran without any significant evidence. Many view the conviction as an attempt to remove him from office since he is both ethnically Chinese and Christian.
5/12/2017 Indonesia (Antara News) – US Ambassador to Indonesia, Joseph Donovan Jr Ambassador, has stated that blasphemy laws was jeopardizing the freedom of religion, expression, assembly and freedom of press.
He made the statement in Jakarta, Wednesday, in response to the recent decision of the North Jakarta District Court, which found Jakarta Governor, Basuki Purnama, guilty of blasphemy against Islam and sentenced him to two years in jail, Tuesday.
“I am not going to specifically comment about the case, but I would like to say that religious freedom and freedom of speech are founding tenants of the United States, we cherish the freedom of all our citizens to speak freely about their opinions and their beliefs,” he said after speaking during a discussion panel themed From Drill Bit to Digital Bytes: Thoughts on a stronger US-Indonesia Economic Relationship, held in Wisma ANTARA, Jakarta, Wednesday.