Ahok Arrives In Police Headquarters For Questioning

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Jakarta, Nov 22 ( Berita ) : Non-active Governor of Jakarta Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) arrived at the Police Headquarters here on Tuesday for questioning as a suspect in alleged blasphemy case concerning his statement on a Quranic verse.

This is his first appearance in the Police Headquarters since he was named a suspect by the Crime Investigation Department (Bareskrim) of the National Police on November 16, 2016. Ahok has to temporarily resign as the Jakarta governor, because he is running for the gubernatorial race in Jakarta.

Jakarta and 100 other regions across Indonesia will hold simultaneous regional head elections on February 15, 2016. Despite his status as a suspect, the incumbent could go ahead with his political campaign activities and participate in the election early next year.

Earlier, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) had issued an edict that the statement was a blasphemy and should be processed legally in line with the country’s existing laws. Bareskrim received 11 reports from Muslim organizations against Ahok.

The police have also decided to ban Ahok from going abroad in connection with his status. The police would immediately submit the dossiers of the case to the prosecutor’s office.

Despite Ahok’s apology for his statements made regarding the Quranic verse al-Maidah 51 on September 27, 2016, on Seribu Islands, northern Jakarta, some Islamic groups considered that an apology was not enough.

They joined a massive and peaceful rally held on November 4, believed to be the largest rally ever in Indonesia’s history, although data on the exact number of participants was not available.

The rally was called by the so-called National Movement of Guardians of Indonesian Ulema Council’s Fatwa/Edict (GNPF-MUI) to demand justice and legal enforcement against Ahok.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has asked every party to respect the National Police (Polri) in dealing with the case. “Let Polri work in accordance with the existing regulations,” Jokowi said after launching a Fruit Eating Campaign organized to highlight the Indonesia Fruit 2016 festival, at Senayan area, here on Thursday.

Everyone must respect the ongoing legal process being handled by the police, he remarked. “Don’t put any pressure, don’t try to intervene. Let Polri work as per the existing regulations. We must respect what Polri has done,” he added. (ant )

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