The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom denounced the conviction of Jakarta’s Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as “Ahok,” on charges of blasphemy against the Quran. Ahok has been sentenced to two years in prison for a statement he made during a speech to fishermen in which said that his opponents were trying to use the Quran to convince people not to vote for him. USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J. said, “These laws are used to intimidate and harass individuals, including religious dissenters and minorities and violate their freedom of religion and belief,.” USCIRF’s Vice Chairman Daniel Mark said, “We call on the Indonesian government at the central, provincial, and local levels to comply with the Indonesian constitution and international human rights standards.”
5/15/2017 Indonesia (USCIRF) – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) denounces the recent conviction of Jakarta’s governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama – also known as “Ahok” – on blasphemy charges. Ahok, a Christian of Chinese descent, was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to two years in prison despite the prosecutors’ recommendation that the blasphemy charges be dropped.
“USCIRF remains very concerned with countries such as Indonesia that have blasphemy laws. These laws are used to intimidate and harass individuals, including religious dissenters and minorities and violate their freedom of religion and belief,” said USCIRF chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J.