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Jakarta Post

Gafatar leaders sentenced to years in prison for blasphemy

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, March 7, 2017   /  10:04 pm
Gafatar leaders sentenced to years in prison for blasphemy Fajar Nusantara Movement (Gafatar) leaders Mahful Muis Tumanurung, Ahmad Musadeq and Andry Cahya (left to right) smile to journalists before the verdict hearing on Tuesday afternoon. (JP/Bagas Rahadian)

The East Jakarta District Court has declared three leaders of the Fajar Nusantara Movement (Gafatar) guilty of blasphemy and sentenced them to years behind bars.

The three judges on the panel, meanwhile, rejected prosecutors’ charges of treason as they delivered the court’s verdict on Tuesday.

Former Gafatar chief Mahful Muis Tumanurung and spiritual leader Ahmad Musadeq a.k.a. Abdussalam were sentenced 5 years in prison, while spokesperson Andry Cahya was sentenced to 3 years in prison under the controversial blasphemy law.

The court found only Islamic values insulted by the movement.

The movement “contradicted and offended Islamic values held by most Indonesian citizens,” said presiding judge Muhammad Sirad while reading out the verdict.

(Read also: Gafatar is heretical, says MUI)

Among other considerations, the court noted that prayers were not obligatory in the belief of the Gafatar movement, while the religion's holy book said prayers were obligatory.

The judges also pointed to local rejection of the Gafatar movement’s activities in a settlement they had established in Mempawah, Central Kalimantan, as evidence that their belief was disturbing to other people. (hol/wit)

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