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Jakarta Post

The crucifixion of Ahok

Mon, May 15, 2017   /   06:55 pm
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    Red rose petals scattered among a handwritten #SaveAhok message and an Ahok-Djarot sticker are visible outside the Agriculture Ministry in Ragunan, South Jakarta, on May 9. The North Jakarta District Court sentenced Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) to two years’ imprisonment for blasphemy. Ahok -- who was immediately detained at the Cipinang detention center but later moved to the Kelapa Dua Mobile Brigade detention center – has appealed the verdict. JP/Seto Wardhana.

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    Supporters of Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama gather near a monument erected in his honor in front of the North Jakarta District Court during his verdict hearing on Tuesday. JP/ Seto Wardhana

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    North Jakarta District Court chief judge Dwiarso Budi Santiarto reads out a guilty verdict against incumbent Jakarta Givernor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama and sentences him to two years' imprisonment for blasphemy. JP/Kurniawan Mas'ud/Pool

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    Incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama prepares to hear the verdict against him at the North Jakarta District Court on Tuesday. JP/Sigid Kurniawan/Pool

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    A Supporter of Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama cries while others stand in shock upon hearing that the incumbent Jakarta Governor was sentenced to two years' imprisonment. JP/ Seto Wardhana

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    Workers remove dozens of flower boards that were previously on display for several days at the Jakarta governor's office. JP/ Dhoni Setiawan

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 was the day when incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama claimed his place in the pantheon of great individuals in history.

On that day, the judges of the North Jakarta Court crucified Ahok by sentencing him to two years’ imprisonment on blasphemy charges.

The sentence is a bitter farewell gift for Ahok, who successfully implemented significant bureaucratic reform within the Jakarta administration, improved public facilities, reduced floods, built affordable apartments for the poor, created more disable-friendly facilities and saw off hundreds of mosque marbots on their holy pilgrimage during his three-year tenure as governor.

Outside the court room, thousands of Ahok supporters mourned over the sentence, which they deemed as the death of justice and sanity. Conversely, fundamentalists cheered while at the same time demanding a heavier sentence for the fallen governor.

What happened to Ahok, who will end his governorship in October, might have been tragic but many before him experienced the same or even worse fate and history shows that their voices become even stronger, with their legacies further cemented in time, following instances in which injustice is imposed upon them.

Great prophets and leaders of change have always been rejected by their societies. Their names are forever etched in the hearts of millions and now, Ahok is officially paving his own way toward greatness and immortality.


Text by: Hans David Tampubolon