Foreign Ministry responds to international concerns on Ahok conviction

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has responded to international concerns over Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnamas conviction by asking all the parties to respect the verdict of the court in the blasphemy case.

“We should respect the law of Indonesia. We, as the government, cannot intervene in the legal process,” Arrmanatha Nasir, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said here, Wednesday.

Several international organizations have expressed concern following the guilty verdict and two-year jail term handed down to Jakarta Governor, familiarly called Ahok.

For instance, the European Union Delegation to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, following the courts decision on Tuesday, has issued a statement calling on Indonesia to maintain its long-held tradition of tolerance and pluralism.

“I dont see any pressure. We see that the European Union respects what is going on today and has encouraged us to maintain the harmony and tolerance in Indonesia,” Nasir affirmed.

Indonesia as a democratic country cannot interfere or intervene in the countrys legal process, Nasir stated.

Meanwhile, UN Human Rights Asia tweeted on Tuesday showing its concern following the jail sentence for the Jakarta Governor for alleged blasphemy. “We call on #Indonesia to review blasphemy law,” it said.

Furthermore, Amnesty International stated that the conviction and imprisonment of Jakarta Governor Ahok will tarnish Indonesias reputation on tolerance.

“This verdict demonstrates the inherent injustice of Indonesias blasphemy law, which should be repealed immediately,” said Champa Patel, Amnesty Internationals Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

The North Jakarta District Courts panel of judges decided to detain Ahok after the court found him guilty of religious blasphemy and sentenced him to two years imprisonment, Tuesday.

Ahok was brought to the Cipinang prison in East Jakarta shortly after the hearing, as the court had ordered for the sentence to be carried out immediately.

In response to the verdict given by the panel of judges, headed by Dwiarso Budi Santiarto, Ahok and his team of lawyers said they would prepare an appeal against the courts decision.

Source: Antara News