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Jakarta Post

Gafatar sect leaders to appeal guilty verdict

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, March 18, 2017   /   10:20 am
Gafatar sect leaders to appeal guilty verdict Abdussalam, alias Ahmad Musadeq, (center), a leader of the outlawed Gafatar religious sect, attends a hearing at the East Jakarta District Court in Jakarta on March 7, together with two other defendants, Andry Cahya (left) and Mahful Muis Tumanurung (right). (Antara/M.Agung Rajasa)

Three leaders of the outlawed Gafatar religious sect will appeal their recent guilty verdicts that saw them sentenced to prison terms of between three and five years for blasphemy.

“We are ready to fight again,” Asfinawati, one of Gafatar lawyers from the Legal Aid Institute (LBH), told The Jakarta Post in Jakarta on Friday. She said she was aware prosecutors would also appeal.

On March 7, judges at the East Jakarta District Court sentenced Gafatar chief Mahful Muis Tumanurung and spiritual leader Ahmad Musadeq to five years in prison, while spokesperson Andry Cahya was sentenced to three years for blaspheming Islam.

The lawyers have dismissed the verdicts as outrageous and as contravening the principles of democracy in the country, where the Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to practice their religious beliefs.

Prosecutors and the Attorney General’s Office and could not be reached for comment. (hol)