- Title: Witnesses testify in Jakarta governor's blasphemy hearing
- Date: 3rd January 2017
- Summary: BANNER READING (Bahasa Indonesia): "RADICALISM IS THE BIGGEST ENEMY OF EVERY NATION" (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) SUPPORTER OF BASUKI TJAHAJA PURNAMA, ARIFIN KURNIAWAN SAYING: "Don't be afraid and don't step back because you, Ahok, are not guilty. We will support you Ahok, until I die and until my last breath." VARIOUS OF PURNAMA'S SUPPORTERS STANDING NEAR POLICE ARMOUR
- Embargoed: 18th January 2017 06:03
- Keywords: Indonesia Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama blasphemy protest court hearing
- Location: JAKARTA, INDONESIA
- City: JAKARTA, INDONESIA
- Country: Indonesia
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Judicial Process/Court Cases/Court Decisions
- Reuters ID: LVA0035XJ09QD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The hearing of blasphemy allegation against Jakarta's Christian governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama resumed on Tuesday (January 3), after Indonesian court rejected his legal team's request to the case citing reason of violation of human rights and breached procedures.
The hearing on Tuesday (January 3) was held in an auditorium at the Agriculture Ministry due to security concerns. Six witnesses summoned by the prosecutors were expected to testify.
Purnama was accused of insulting the Koran and named as a suspect after hundreds of thousands of people, led by Muslim hardliners, attended rallies in recent months calling for his arrest.
Hundreds of protesters shouted "God is great" and called for Purnama's arrest as they held up placards by the entrance.
"I hope the legal system in this country can ensure a fair trial. We, the Muslims, are here today in the spirit of 212 (December 2 rally). We hope our leaders and the judges will see that all Muslims in Indonesia support peace and want justice to be upheld in this country," said Uztad Hasri from Bogor, West Java province.
Hundreds other Purnama supporters were also present outside the ministry. Both sides were separated by a wall of police and riot trucks.
"Don't be afraid and don't step back because you, Ahok, are not guilty. We will support you Ahok, until I die and until my last breath," said Jakarta resident Arifin Kurniawan.
As governor, Purnama has won credit for cutting red tape and improving the performance of Jakarta's bloated bureaucracy. However, his abrasive language and insistence on clearing city slums has alienated many voters.
Purnama is now a frontrunner in the Jakarta governor election race despite the allegations, according to a poll released by the Indonesian Survey Institute in early December.
President Joko Widodo, seen as a Purnama ally, has blamed "political actors" for fuelling the protests, but declined to elaborate.
Amnesty International has criticised the law for hurting freedom of expression and for targeting religious minorities.
Blasphemy convictions in Indonesia can carry a jail term of up to five years and nearly always result in conviction.
More witnesses are expected to testify in the hearing next week.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None