South East Asia

Accuser of ‘blasphemy’ governor ‘Ahok’ found guilty of hate speech

The man who first accused a Christian former governor of Jakarta of “blasphemy” has been found guilty of hate speech and sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Buni Yani selectively edited a video of a speech by “Ahok” Tjahaha Purnama, which he then posted on Facebook along with defamatory comments in 2016.

His posting of the edited video, in which Ahok disputed Islamist claims that the Qu’ran forbids Muslims being governed by non-muslims, led to mass protests. Crowds called for Ahok to be charged with ‘blasphemy’. And the former governor was eventually sentenced to two years in Jail.

A district court in Bandung, West Java, ruled that the deliberate editing of the video was in breach of cyber laws and that Buni Yani’s actions constituted hate speech.

Lawyers for Ahok have seized on the verdict, with one stating: “In light of this ruling, Ahok should not have been punished at all.”