A Top Christian Official in Indonesia Has Been Given an Unexpectedly Harsh Sentence for ‘Blaspheming Islam’

Source: Time

The outgoing Christian governor of the Indonesian capital Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as Ahok, was found guilty of blasphemy by a court in the Indonesian capital on Tuesday and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. It was a stunning blow to a politician who has won praise for his clean and competent governance.

The sentence was heavier than that demanded by the prosecutors, who only recommended a year in jail with two years’ probation, and comes after Ahok’s defeat in a highly charged election that was seen as a victory for hard-line political Islam, and a defeat for plurality and secularism, in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

He was taken to Cipinang detention center in Jakarta immediately after sentencing.

“It is unfair,” Rian Ernest, one of his lawyers, tells TIME.

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