Indonesia sends former Christian governor to the slammer for blasphemy
Jakarta’s once hugely popular governor is being held in a simple room at a high-security detention center, his only comforts a Bible and visitors twice a week. It’s a grim new life following his conviction for insulting Islam in Muslim-majority Indonesia.
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was hurriedly transferred to the high-security police facility in a suburb of the city early on Wednesday after his supporters surrounded the Jakarta jail he was initially sent to.
His sister said the family also feared his life was in danger from furious Islamists.
“The religious people have been saying in the mosques that his blood is haram (forbidden) and that killing him is good,” Fifi Lety Indra, the sister and head of his legal team, told Reuters. “This is necessary protection and it gives us peace and comfort that he’s there.”
His two-year imprisonment on Tuesday was much harsher than the suspended sentence the prosecution had sought for the ethnic-Chinese Christian governor, prompting warnings that Islam is creeping into politics and the judiciary of the secular nation.
The blasphemy conviction is a stunning downfall for the close ally of President Joko Widodo. Brash and unafraid to take on the moneyed elite, Purnama—popularly known by his Chinese nickname ‘Ahok’—was widely admired for his no-nonsense drive to modernize a chaotic city long plagued by traffic and flooding.
This article continues at [Charisma News] A Bible and a Cell: Christian Governor Transitions to Life Behind Bars