In­done­sia Gov faces grilling over blas­phemy al­le­ga­tions

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Jakarta’s Chris­tian gover­nor was ques­tioned by po­lice yes­ter­day for the first time since be­ing named a sus­pect in a blas­phemy in­ves­ti­ga­tion seen by crit­ics as a test of re­li­gious tol­er­ance in In­done­sia. Po­lice are pur­su­ing al­le­ga­tions that Ba­suki Tja­haja Pur­nama, bet­ter known by his nick­name Ahok, in­sulted the Ko­ran, a crim­i­nal of­fence that car­ries a jail sen­tence in the world’s most pop­u­lous Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity coun­try.

The al­le­ga­tions have sparked much anger among Mus­lims-both mod­er­ate and hard­line-with more than 100,000 tak­ing to the streets of Jakarta ear­lier this month de­mand­ing Pur­nama be pros­e­cuted. Pur­nama-Jakarta’s first non-Mus­lim leader in half a cen­tury and a mem­ber of In­done­sia’s eth­nic Chi­nese mi­nor­ity-de­clined to com­ment as he ar­rived for ques­tion­ing at na­tional po­lice head­quar­ters. But his spokesman Ruhut Sit­o­m­pul said Pur­nama would con­tinue to co­op­er­ate with po­lice, who have or­dered the gover­nor not to leave the coun­try. “Our coun­try is a coun­try based on the law. Our pres­i­dent told us not to in­ter­fere with the po­lice and to re­spect the law,” Sit­o­m­pul said. Pres­i­dent Joko Wi­dodo met po­lit­i­cal fig­ures this week to bol­ster sup­port be­fore fur­ther ral­lies planned in com­ing weeks by re­li­gious groups. “The govern­ment is com­mit­ted with all its force to pre­vent the growth of rad­i­cal­ism in our coun­try,” Wi­dodo told re­porters yes­ter­day. The mas­sive demon­stra­tion ear­lier this month turned vi­o­lent as hard­lin­ers torched ve­hi­cles and at­tacked po­lice, forc­ing Wi­dodo to can­cel a trip abroad to man­age the cri­sis. Po­lice have vowed to crack down on hard­lin­ers who try to use fu­ture ral­lies to stoke vi­o­lence.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.