Indonesian court convicts politician under blasphemy law

Jakarta’s Governor Ahok Tjahaja Purnama was sentenced to two years of imprisonment for violating the country’s discriminatory blasphemy law. A Christian politician,  was  charged with  blasphemy in 2016, after he made a reference to a Quranic verse which was perceived as disrespectful. This prosecution was extensively used by militant Islamist groups to polarise the electorate in the run up to the gubernatorial election, which Ahok lost.

The Indonesian law against blasphemy, contained in article 156A of the Indonesian Criminal Code, punishes deviations from the central tenets of the six officially recognized religions with up to five years in prison. The blasphemy law has been used to target members of religious minorities and traditional religions.