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ICC Note:

Ahok’s lawyers have announced that he will withdraw his appeal against his blasphemy conviction. Ahok voiced concern over violence and protests that had erupted since his conviction. In an unusual twist, however, another reason cited for the withdrawal of the appeal was to “allow prosecutors to appeal the sentence.” Judges actually gave Ahok a harsher sentence than recommended by the prosecution team on what many consider little to no evidence. Ahok is serving two years in jail for a statement he made about the Quran during his campaign.

5/24/2017 Indonesia (Reuters) – Jakarta’s former governor, a Christian, will withdraw an appeal against his controversial jailing for insulting Islam in Muslim-majority Indonesia, to allow prosecutors to appeal the sentence and calm protests, his family and lawyers said on Tuesday.

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese popularly known as “Ahok”, was jailed on May 9 for a longer-than-expected term in a ruling that critics fear will embolden hardline Islamist forces to challenge secularism in Indonesia.

At a news conference, his tearful wife, Veronica Tan, read out a letter in which Purnama thanked supporters and those who were praying for him, or sending flowers, letters and books.

“I know this is not easy for you to accept this reality, let alone me, but I have learned to forgive and accept all this,” the former governor said in the letter.

“It is not right to protest against each other in the process I am going through now,” he added, saying he was concerned that his supporters could be involved in clashes with parties opposing him.

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