Ahok to be ar­raigned

> Jakarta gov­er­nor to face blas­phemy charges

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

JAKARTA: The Chris­tian gov­er­nor of the In­done­sian cap­i­tal will be ar­raigned to face charges of blas­phemy over re­marks per­ceived as in­sult­ing to Mus­lims, po­lice said yes­ter­day.

Jakarta Gov­er­nor Ba­suki Tja­haja Pur­nama, pop­u­larly known by his nick­name Ahok, had signed the case files, na­tional po­lice spokesman Rik­wanto said.

The at­tor­ney-gen­eral’s of­fice said on Wed­nes­day it would sub­mit the case to court, but no date for the trial has been set.

At least 150,000 peo­ple are ex­pected to flood down­town Jakarta to­day to protest against Pur­nama.

A protest on Nov 4 against Pur­nama at­tracted about 100,000 demon­stra­tors and ended in vi­o­lence, with one per­son killed and hun­dreds in­jured in clashes.

The Amer­i­can em­bassy in Jakarta warned in a mes­sage to US cit­i­zens that “even demon­stra­tions in­tended to be peace­ful can turn con­fronta­tional and es­ca­late into vi­o­lence”.

“Some ex­trem­ist groups could take ad­van­tage of the Dec 2 events to in­cite or carry out vi­o­lence,” it said, adding Amer­i­cans should avoid the demon­stra­tion.

The Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment warned its cit­i­zens: “We strongly ad­vise you to avoid all protests as they may turn vi­o­lent. Main­tain a high level of vig­i­lance and se­cu­rity aware­ness.”

More than 20,000 po­lice and soldiers will be de­ployed to se­cure to­day’s rally which could dwarf the ear­lier protest against Pur­nama.

Au­thor­i­ties and rally lead­ers have agreed to re­strict the demon­stra­tion to a ma­jor park around a down­town mon­u­ment and the event is sched­uled to end by 1pm (2pm in Malaysia).

Dur­ing the last protest, clashes be­gan in the evening when hard­lin­ers re­fused to dis­perse, with protesters hurl­ing mis­siles and po­lice re­spond­ing with tear gas and wa­ter can­non.

Ral­lies call­ing for unity or­gan­ised by se­cu­rity forces on Wed­nes­day at­tracted thou­sands of peo­ple, in­clud­ing school chil­dren, soldiers and po­lice.

The blas­phemy al­le­ga­tions stem from re­marks made by Pur­nama in Septem­ber, when he said his op­po­nents had used a verse from the Qu­ran to de­ceive vot­ers.

Some Mus­lims in­ter­pret the Qu­ranic text in ques­tion as pro­hibit­ing them from elect­ing non-Mus­lims as their lead­ers, al­though other Mus­lims dis­agree that Pur­nama’s re­marks were blas­phe­mous. – Agen­cies

Ahok speaks to the me­dia fol­low­ing a meet­ing at the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral's Of­fice in Jakarta to dis­cuss the blas­phemy case yes­ter­day.

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