Continuing testimony in the historic trial on charges of blasphemy Indonesian Governor who is a Christian. At stake is not only the political future of the Governor, but freedom, and the fate of democracy in Indonesia.
Governor of Jakarta Basuki Purnama Cahaya, better known as Ahok, waved to the audience, after which media representatives asked to leave the courtroom. Ahok was accused of blasphemy after he allegedly said in his speech during the election campaign that voters fooled his opponents who say that the Koran forbids Muslims to have non-Muslim leader.
Ahok became Governor after his predecessor, Joko Widodo was elected Indonesia’s President in 2014. Before only once it was so, that a Christian of Chinese descent became Governor of the capital of the country with the largest Muslim population in the world. Muslim conservatives considered the position of Ahoka on a post of the Governor invalid.
Known for his incorruptible and effective Board, Ahac sought a fair re-election as Governor. Now, when he brought the case, his candidacy was threatened. The analyst Boni Hargens believes the blasphemy politically motivated.
“According to the polls, Ahok is considered the most likely winner of the election. And his competitors don’t find anything than it would be possible to strike him. But Ahok Chinese and a Christian, and they try to use is to prevent the re-election of Ajoka in the upcoming elections. So I think it is very harmful for democratization and for the whole society”, — commented the political scientist Muslim Boni Hargens.
Muslim conservatives protest against Ohoka. They demand the arrest and imprisonment of the Governor. Hundreds of police are outside the court to maintain law and order in the case of clashes between them and supporters of Ahoka, who are calling for a fair verdict to the Governor.
Sister of Ajoka, Fifi Lety Indra, heads the private legal team. She says that none of the witnesses who testified against her brother, have not heard that actually said Ahok in his campaign speech.
“They all recognize that it is not heard his words personally. They didn’t see it personally. They were not present at the place,” she says.
Fifi is convinced that the words of Ahoka distorted. The woman claims that her brother said: “don’t vote for me if you believe in their religion. Do not elect the leader of the non-Muslim. Do not elect me. Please.”
Also Fifi Lety Indra says that her brother is well kept during the process: “he understands that He may be subjected to persecution for their faith. But he also believes that God uses this case to show people how to believe that God has always everything under control,” she says.
As expected, the trial of Focom for blasphemy will last until the election of Governor of Jakarta next month.