The Christian former governor of Jakarta, Indonesia has announced that he is withdrawing his appeal after being sentenced to jail on charges of blasphemy against Islam.
Basuki Tjahaja, known as “Ahok,” was sentenced to two years in jail. His political opponents accused him of blasphemy against Islam and had used his alleged anti-Islam beliefs to stir the national tide against him.
Not only did Ahok end up losing the election, but he was imprisoned.
He initially filed an appeal against his sentence and protests were held in favor of his release, but he has since issued a statement, saying, “It isn't easy for me...but I've learnt to forgive and accept all of this if it is for the benefit of the nation and the country. It is not right to continue to protest and hold demonstrations in the name of the process that I am going through at the moment.”
His wife supported him in this decision, according to Christian Today. “The children and I, along with the whole family, we are going to try to support him in his struggle,” she said.
Ahok’s imprisonment is concerning to many in Indonesia and around the world as it signals that Islam holds an oppressive sway in the country and other Christians may be at risk of discrimination and imprisonment for their faith.
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Publication date: May 23, 2017