05/09/2017, 12.39
INDONESIA
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Ahok trial: 'Judgement influenced by current political climate'

by Mathias Hariyadi

"Politics has interfered with the legal process". "A dangerous decision by judges for the development of law and justice in the country." "How can Indonesia be defined as a 'secular state based on the rule of law?'". "The implications of the sentence go far beyond the court's walls". "Judges have issued a socially ‘friendly 'verdict."

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Just hours after the sentencing for blasphemy of Christian Governor of Jakarta, Basuki's "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, we publish the comments and reactions of some members of civil society.

Justina Rostiawati, president of the Indonesian Catholic Women Association (WKRI) from Jakarta

Personally, I am disappointed over the “distorted’ conclusion of the judges panel albeit the prosecutor’s recommendation seeking two-year long probation for Ahok.  The judges’ verdict has been massively influenced by the current political situation in Indonesia. If this impression is right, then the conclusion of the judges is potentially dangerous for the development of justice and law in the country. Politics has been ‘inserted’ into the legal process: Ahok’s trials. What next? It should be reviewed by all stake-holders in the educational agencies about the nature of being equal before the law. What is crucial is the recruitment of judges based on their moral integrity and non-partisan views.

Lilik Sugianto, a Muslim activist from Nahdlatul Ulama from Batu, East Java

How can Indonesia be defined as "a secular state based on the rule of law" if Ahok, a Christian of Chinese origin, an incorruptible worker who does not accept compromises, is "guilty" of blasphemy and politically "condemned" in such an unfair trial? For most people and activists, Ahok's trial has been "fabricated" to obtain a prison sentence and prison. We should all be equal to the Law, but this case does not prove it. The law was "molded" by social pressures. This is a dangerous phenomenon.

Kika Ananto SH, lawyer in Semarang, Central Java

It is strange to see the court strive to prove Ahok's guilt at all cost. This should be the main task of the public prosecutor. Days before, however, the college of judges had stated that there was no evidence that Ahok had offended the religion. Yet the court aimed to condemn it. In the eyes of the Law, this ruling may also be acceptable, but not from the moral point of view. The condemnation was issued according to the personal conscience of the judge, rather than moral conscience, as generally envisaged.

Estiari, housewife of Jakarta

I'm speechless about what's happening these days in Indonesia. They have been able to condemn Ahok, a good man in modern Indonesian society. I really hope that in the years to come a "young Ahok" can find strategic assignments in government with one mission: to serve the people.

Arijanto, a native of Jakarta

The supremacy of the Law? Madness. This does not happen in Indonesia. The law is orchestrated. In Ahok's case the social pressure was real and heavy.

Yudo Prihartono SH, lawyer and activist for AYP & Partners from Kudus, Central Java

The implications of the sentence go far beyond the court's walls, as this impacts the development of democracy and the well-being of the Indonesian people. If we are based on the Ahok process, in the near future anyone who is charged with having blasphemed may be imprisoned even in the absence of convincing evidence.

Dee, publisher from Central Jakarta

Ahok is a reference model for how the image of the public official has radically changed: from the feudal bureaucrat to the servant of the state oriented to the common good. However, in Indonesia’s languishing political malaise, he has become a "victim" of bad politicians, corrupt bureaucracy, and hypocritical legislators. We must raise our concerns for this social and political injustice.

Koerniatmanto, professor of law at UNPAR Catholic University in Bandung, West Java

The sentence is strange and commonly called "ultra petita", which means that the verdict is "heavier" than the prosecutors demanded. For the College of Judges, this verdict is socially "friendly" for security reasons. Angry crowds will not "attack" the judges and Ahok will be taken to jail in total security.

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