Jakarta’s Christian governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, also known as Ahok, was found guilty of blasphemy and has been sentenced to two years in prison in Indonesia on Tuesday.

Ahok was the first ethnic Chinese Christian to run the nation’s capital, and was accused of insulting Islam by referring to a verse in the Koran during a campaign speech, which was met with strong disapproval by religious hardliners.

The five-judge panel of the Supreme Court in Jakarta said Ahok was “convincingly proven guilty of blasphemy” and ordered his arrest, Associated Press reported. Ahok said he plans to appeal the verdict and sentence.

The case was seen as a test of religious tolerance in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Indonesia’s government has come under fire for not doing enough to protect religious minorities, but Joko Widodo, the country’s president and an ally of Ahok, had called for calm over the trail and for both sides to respect the legal process.

Prosecutors had called for a suspended jail sentence for Ahok. The maximum sentence for blasphemy in Indonesia is five years in prison.

Get alerts on Asia-Pacific when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2020. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window)

Comments have not been enabled for this article.

Follow the topics in this article