Former Jakarta governor Ahok to appeal blasphemy sentence
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Former Jakarta governor Ahok to appeal blasphemy sentence

JAILED former governor of Jakarta Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, also known as Ahok, will appeal his sentence under Indonesia’s controversial blasphemy laws.

The Indonesian Supreme Court received a case review petition on Monday to challenge the two-year prison sentence, reported the Jakarta Post. His legal team reportedly submitted the documents to North Jakarta District Court, which had originally handed down his jail term, on Feb 2.

Ethnically Chinese and a Christian, Ahok was imprisoned last May for supposed blasphemy against Islam after a long public campaign by hardline religious groups which raised concern about tolerance in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.

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His family submitted an appeal against his conviction last May, however subsequently withdrew it within a number of hours.

“The situation was very different then. He was sure that filing an appeal then would only aggravate the situation. He is a very (calculating) man,” said one of Ahok’s lawyers I Wayan Sudirta as quoted by The Australian. “He knew that filing a case review when the time is right was the better option.”

I Wayan said the former governor’s sister Fify Lety Indra will handle the renewed review.

Ahok is currently serving his sentence at the Rutan Mako Brimob detention centre in Depok, south of the capital. His first hearing will take place next Monday Feb 26, with a second hearing a week later.

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