Muslim protesters march against Jakarta’s Christian governor

Source: Associated Press

By NINIEK KARMINI

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Undeterred by the arrest of hard-line protest leaders, thousands of Muslims marched in Indonesia’s capital on Friday, calling for the jailing of the city’s minority Christian governor.

Following Friday prayers, the protesters marched from Istiqlal Mosque in central Jakarta to the nearby presidential palace, which was under heavy police guard.

Protests against Gov. Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama have snowballed since September when he was accused of blaspheming the Quran and subsequently charged. His trial is still underway.

The turnout for Friday’s protest was small compared with the hundreds of thousands who answered the call of hard-line Islamic groups to flood central Jakarta for demonstrations in November, December and February. Jakarta police’s director of traffic Ermayudi Sumarsono estimated the crowd at 13,000 to 15,000. Police estimates are often conservative.

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