Indonesian Christian governor freed
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 1/24/19, 11:11 am
Indonesian authorities on Thursday released a former governor who had nearly completed his two-year prison sentence on charges of blasphemy against Islam. Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, the first Christian leader of the capital district of Jakarta, left a paramilitary prison in the city, spokesman Sakti Budiono confirmed.
Ahok enjoyed popular approval in Jakarta until hard-line Muslims accused him of blasphemy during a 2016 political debate. He said voters should not be deceived by claims the Quran forbids them from voting for a non-Muslim. The comment brought hundreds of thousands of Muslim demonstrators to the streets. In May 2017, he received a two-year sentence for blaspheming the Quran.
Ahok’s son, Nicholas Sean, celebrated his father’s release with a photo of the two of them on Instagram, writing, “Thank you everyone for the support.”
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.