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Jakarta Post

Soldier dismissed for blasphemy

  • Nethy Dharma Somba

    The Jakarta Post

Jayapura, Papua   /   Sat, September 30, 2017   /   08:44 am
Soldier dismissed for blasphemy Second Sgt. Bangun Ahmad Kasmawan stands as a defendant at the Jayapura Military Court on Sept. 28. The court declared him guilty of blasphemy. He was dismissed from the Indonesian Military (TNI) and sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for burning several copies of the Bible in Jayapura, Papua. (JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)

A soldier serving in Papua was dismissed from the Indonesian Military (TNI) and sentenced to 2.5 years in prison after being found guilty of blasphemy.

The Jayapura Military Court found Second Sgt. Bangun Ahmad Kasmawan guilty on Thursday.

“The defendant violated article 156a of the Criminal Code on religious blasphemy,” said presiding judge Col. James Vandersloot of the Corps of Military Law and Justice.

Bangun was sentenced for burning several copies of the Bible in May. Bangun, who was assigned to guard the border between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, was cleaning the house of the 172 Military Resort chief (Kasrem) at a housing complex in Padangbulan, Abepura, Jayapura. 

He burned a box of books and other items stored in a shed without checking the contents first. As he burned the books, a resident took a picture and uploaded it to social media, sparking an uproar. Residents then staged a protest that ended in violence. (rin)