Candlelight Vigils to be Held for Imprisoned Jakarta Christian Governor
16 May 2017
Indonesia: May 16, 2017. Rallies are being staged all across Indonesia after the arrest and conviction of Jakarta’s governor, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama.
Ahok was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to two years in prison for insulting the Islamic faith, according to The Christian Post.
His arrest, however, has prompted rallies as people are calling for his release because they believe the ruling is unjust and that Ahok’s arrest was a violation of his free speech.
The Jakarta Post is reporting that about 1,000 places are planning candlelight vigils in support of Ahok in various parts of the country and abroad.
Supporters are also trying to collect signature and copies of ID cards to secure suspension of Ahok’s detention. Supporters need 10,000 guarantors ID cards, according to reports, the group has about 9,000 Indonesian guarantors.
Ahok was charged for using a Quranic verse in his re-election campaign in September. Opponents of Ahok had used the same verse to argue that Muslims should not choose a non-Muslim to lead them. Ahok said his opponents had used the verse to trick people into voting against him.
His speech which included the verse was posted online in an edited and video and soon went viral. Protests were started, including one that drew about half a million people.
Ahok lost the election in April and his term ends in October.