A controversial blasphemy law in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority nation, is causing serious concern worldwide, following a court ruling to two years in jail against outgoing Jakarta's Christian governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama.
Purnama, also known as Ahok, was sentenced on Monday over comments he made against his opponents during a political campaign to deny that the Qur’an would prohibit voting for him.
Enrique Guerrero MEP, president of the Global Progressive Forum (GPF), commented:
“This ruling comes quite as a bad and alarming surprise. Ahok is close to the Indonesian ruling party and even the prosecutors asked for a softer penalty than the one eventually decided by the judges.
We are afraid of the role played by some extremist forces in this case, pushing part of the population to vehemently demonstrate against Ahok in order to influence the judges.
“Indonesia is an important country strongly committed to secular democracy and religious pluralism. While we expect that this ruling will be overturned in appeal, the Global progressive Forum calls on the Indonesian Government to repeal this blasphemy law and ensure freedom of expression to all its citizens”.
Note to the Editors
The Global Progressive Forum (GPF) was created in 2003 by the Party of European Socialists and by the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament with the goal of connecting progressive forces from around the world and developing a global progressive agenda.