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Jakarta Post

Security, supporters ready for Ahok's release

  • Kharishar Kahfi

    The Jakarta Post

Depok   /   Thu, January 24, 2019   /   10:34 am
Security, supporters ready for Ahok's release A supporter of former Jakarta governor Basuki (JP/Kharishar Kahfi)


Police heightened security around the National Police's Mobile Brigade (Brimob) headquarters in Kelapa Dua, Depok, West Java, on Thursday morning, ahead of former Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama’s release.

Barbed wire was erected in front of the headquarters, while officers stood guard in the area.

A handful of Ahok supporters were seen gathering around the area, most of whom were wearing red-checkered shirts.

The supporters also placed a number of flower boards with messages supporting Ahok around 10 meters from the headquarters’ gate.

Flower boards with messages supporting former Jakarta governor Basuki Flower boards with messages supporting former Jakarta governor Basuki (JP/Kharishar Kahfi)

"Dear Pak Ahok/BTP [Ahok's initials], [you have become] like a butterfly [hatching] from a cocoon: beautiful, strong and free," one of the flower boards said.

Ahok is scheduled to be released from prison on Thursday after serving nearly two years for blasphemy -- in a case that played a major role in his defeat in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election.

He was taken to court following a speech he made in Thousand Islands regency in September 2016 that referred to Al-Maidah, verse 51 in the Quran. Ahok said the verse -- believed to ban Muslims from choosing a non-muslim leader -- had been used to deceive people into voting against him. (ipa)