Indonesia: politician convicted of blasphemy free again
A year and a half ago, the governor of Jakarta had been arrested for blasphemy. The case is considered as evidence of the increasing influence of Islam in Indonesia.
The former governor of Indonesia's capital Jakarta has been released after a year and a half of imprisonment for alleged blasphemy. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama had been dismissed prematurely due to good leadership, his spokesman said. Thus, the prison sentence was shortened from originally two years.
Christian politician Purnama was sentenced to two years' imprisonment in May 2017 for remarks on the Koran. In a campaign appearance, he said voters should not be guided by those who quoted the Koran to prevent his election. As a result, up to half a million people protested against him in protest. The case is seen by many as evidence of the increasing influence of Islam on Indonesia's politics and society.
A few days before his release, Purnama apologized to state officials in Jakarta. He insulted her by being rude and arrogant, he said. It is unclear whether he will return to politics after his release.
With more than 200 million believers, Indonesia is the most populous Muslim state in the world. For some years conservative forces have been gaining influence in the country. About 20 million Indonesians profess their Christian faith. Purnama also has Chinese roots, so in Indonesia belongs to another minority.