Man who up­loaded Ahok video gets 11/ years’ jail

The Straits Times - - ASIA -

JAKARTA For­mer In­done­sian pri­vate univer­sity lec­turer Buni Yani has been sen­tenced to 11/ years in jail, af­ter be­ing found guilty of spread­ing hate speech by a Bandung court yes­ter­day.

The case is closely watched as his act con­trib­uted to the May jail­ing of for­mer Jakarta gov­er­nor Ba­suki Tja­haja Pur­nama for blas­phemy against Is­lam.

The judges said Buni breached the clauses of the coun­try’s in­for­ma­tion and elec­tronic trans­ac­tion laws, which lay out how in­for­ma­tion could be spread and used to en­sure the pro­tec­tion of cit­i­zens’ rights.

“It has been proven. The de­fen­dant is guilty as charged,” pre­sid­ing j udge M. Saptono told the court room.

The sen­tence handed down is lower than the two years pre­vi­ously de­manded by the pros­e­cu­tors.

Buni’s lawyer Ald­win Ra­ha­dian said he will ap­peal against the ver­dict.

Buni was ac­cused of edit­ing and later up­load­ing on­line a video fea­tur­ing a speech by Ba­suki in Septem­ber last year, in which he re­ferred to a verse from Is­lam’s holy book, the Qu­ran.

Pros­e­cu­tors said that Buni not only up­loaded the video but also in­cor­rectly tran­scribed the for­mer gov­er­nor’s speech re­gard­ing a Qu­ranic verse, which led to a pub­lic out­cry.

A vi­tal part of the state­ment by Ba­suki, who is widely known as Ahok, was edited out of the video, cre­at­ing the per­cep­tion that his re­marks were aimed at the Is­lamic holy book, rather than at op­po­nents who mis­quoted Qu­ranic verses to sup­port their po­lit­i­cal agenda.

While on a work trip, Ba­suki told con­stituents that they should not be mis­led by his po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents who urged Mus­lims to re­ject a non-Mus­lim leader.

Ba­suki is a Chris­tian.

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