The Indonesian court has found Jakarta’s outgoing Christian governor guilty of blasphemy against Islam.
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, also known as Ahok, was sentenced to two years imprisonment on Tuesday in a south Jakarta courtroom over comments he made regarding what he believed to be the misinterpretation of certain verses of the Quran.
Purnama lost his bid for re-election in an April runoff – after the most divisive and religiously charged election in recent years – to a Muslim rival, Anies Baswedan.
Thousands of security personnel have been deployed in Jakarta in case clashes break out between Purnama’s supporters and opponents who have demanded he be dismissed and jailed.
His supporters, for their part, delivered thousands of red and white balloons to City Hall in advance of Tuesday’s court session.
“Both groups will have the opportunity to demonstrate, but we are taking steps to prevent clashes,” said Setyo Wasisto, the national police spokesman.
Prosecutors had called for a suspended one-year jail sentence for Purnama on charges of hate speech. However, his opponents believe that is too light. The maximum sentence is four years in prison.