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Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
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‘I’ll replace Ahok in prison': Djarot

  • News Desk
    News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Wed, May 10, 2017 | 10:17 am
‘I’ll replace Ahok in prison': Djarot Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama and Djarot Saiful Hidayat hold a press conference after the Jakarta gubernatorial runoff election on April 19. (JP/Seto Wardhana.)

Acting Jakarta governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat appeared gloomy after being appointed to temporarily take over Jakarta’s top post by Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo.

There was no smile on Djarot’s face upon hearing that his boss and running mate Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama had been declared guilty of blasphemy and detained.

Djarot, who has been Ahok's deputy since December 2014, said he was willing to act as a guarantor for Ahok's release from detention.

“If something happens, I will take responsibility. I will replace him in detention if something happens,” he told journalists at City Hall on Tuesday as reported by kompas.com.

He said he had submitted a signed letter to the Jakarta High Court and North Jakarta District Court requesting Ahok's release.

Ahok has been detained at the National Police’s Mobile Brigade detention center after the North Jakarta District Court declared him guilty of blasphemy. He was sentenced to two years in prison for insulting the Quran by citing a Quranic verse in a working visit to the Thousand Islands regency in late September last year.  In his speech, Ahok said people had been "deceived" by other people using Al-Maidah 51, a Quranic verse some clerics believe prohibits Muslims from electing a non-Muslim leader.

The blasphemy case incited massive protests against Ahok by radical Muslim groups that used sectarian sentiment in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election and ultimately cost Ahok his reelection.

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