Jakarta governor drops appeal against conviction
JAKARTA: The wife of Jakarta’s Christian governor told a tearful press conference yesterday her husband has withdrawn his appeal against a blasphemy conviction and two-year jail term for the good of Indonesia.
But a challenge filed by prosecutors against his sentence, which was higher than the oneyear suspended jail term they had recommended, will go ahead.
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was jailed this month for insulting the Quran while campaigning for reelection, a decision that stoked concern about rising religious intolerance in the country.
The blasphemy allegations against Basuki, Jakarta’s first non-Muslim governor for half a century and first ethnic Chinese leader, sparked protests spearheaded by radicals. They contributed to him losing last month’s vote to lead the capital to a Muslim challenger.
The governor had vowed to appeal but his family unexpectedly announced on Monday he was dropping the challenge.
His wife, Veronica Tan, said the decision had been taken to try to end the drama that had divided society in recent months.
Tan read a letter written by him from behind bars, in which he said he had dropped his appeal “for the sake of our people and nation”. AFP
Veronica Tan, wife of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, weeping during a news conference in Jakarta yesterday.