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            [post_content] => Jakarta. Jakarta-based human rights group Setara Institute has called on the judges to acquit Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, arguing that the charge against him is politically motivated, the group said in a statement.

"The judges should rectify the actions of the police and state prosecutors by [acquitting] Ahok from the charge against him and clearing his name," Setara Institute deputy head, Bonar Tigor Naipospos, said in a statement released shortly after Ahok's court session on Thursday (20/04).

At the session, prosecutors addressed the court on sentence, suggesting that a two-year probation period is appropriate if the governor is convicted. In the event that the probation order is breached, a possible one-year jail term may be imposed, the prosecution added.

The prosecution reduced the blasphemy charge against the governor from Article 156a of the Criminal Code to Article 156, explaining that Ahok's criticism was directed at people, not the Koran. The latter carries a lighter maximum sentence and also no longer requires that the prosecution prove that Ahok "deliberately" committed the act, which would have been more difficult to prove.

Article 156 also has a wider scope, where the prosecution need only prove that the accused publicly expressed feelings of hostility, hatred or contempt against one or more groups of the population of Indonesia. In this context, a group may be distinguished by race, country of origin, religion and descent.

Ahok had been facing blasphemy charges since November last year after saying during a speech on Pramuka Island that his political rivals have been quoting verse 51 of the Koran's Al-Maidah chapter to turn people against him.

"The reduction of the charge from Article 156a [to Article 156], has bolstered the views of various legal experts, religious figures, academics and nongovernmental activists [who argue] that the elements of blasphemy are difficult to prove," Bonar said.

Bonar added that accusing Ahok of blasphemy was merely an effort to satisfy certain politically motivated interests to hamper his chances in the gubernatorial election.

"It was more a move by law enforcers to satisfy the desire of a political mob to send Ahok to prison and to remove him from the Jakarta election by stigmatizing him as a 'blasphemer,'" Bonar said in the statement.

It is clear that the prosecution missed the mark, realizing that the evidence was limited and it was an uphill battle to prove that blasphemy was committed, Bonar said.

"It's obvious that the blasphemy trial against Ahok is just a move by law enforcers to further political interests, or at least, a move to let law enforcement become an instrument catering to the interest of street mobs," he said in the statement.

"By instead using Article 156 [of the Criminal Code], the foul play [that is going on] has become so obvious, as the scope of this article is wider compared to Article 156a. The prosecution missed their target," Bonar said. Bonar also hopes that the judges will consider all factors when preparing the verdict. [post_title] => Trial Is Politically Motivated, Ahok Should Be Acquitted: Setara Institute [post_excerpt] => Jakarta-based human rights group Setara Institute has called on the judges to acquit Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, arguing that the charge against him is politically motivated, the group said in a statement. 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Ahead of Wednesday's (19/04) poll, the non-governmental organization, which offers research and advocacy on democracy, human rights and political freedom, said that the government, electoral bodies, law enforcers, religious leaders and public figures, as well as the gubernatorial candidates themselves and Jakarta voters need to remember that the election should proceed in accordance with Indonesia's values of pluralism, peace and tolerance. "The decision for whom one should vote ought to be based on the candidates' achievements, performance and leadership qualities," the statement said on Monday. "Head-to-head [poll results] in the runoff competition between Ahok-Djarot [Basuki Tjahaja Purnama and Djarot Saiful Hidayat] and Anies-Sandiaga [Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno] show that our democracy remains symbolic, without substantial democratic values" Setara Institute chairman Hendardi said in the statement. Hendardi also referred to the election campaign, which has led to heightened religious tensions. Over the past six months, incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama — a Christian of Chinese descent — has been subject to multiple racial and religiously motivated discrimination. Even his running mate, who as a Muslim Javanese is member of the majority, on Friday (14/04) was expelled from Al-Atiq Mosque in Tebet, South Jakarta. These attacks, however, according to Hendardi, may increase Ahok-Djarot's electability by attracting public sympathy. In contrast, Anies-Sandiaga have not been experienced "attacks based on identity politics," he said. "Because of their affiliation with intolerant groups, they are perceived as opponents of pluralism and supporters of intolerant movements, which leads to presumptions that their politics would have a religious basis," Hendardi said. The Setara chairman also expressed his hope that the upcoming election will unfold as a peaceful celebration of democracy. [post_title] => Jakarta Voters Should Discard Identity Politics: Setara Institute [post_excerpt] => Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace calls on Jakarta residents to be independent as voters and ignore all forms of identity politics in the gubernatorial election process. 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Setara Institute — which conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights — said complaints against Rizieq's statements should focus on hate speech. “In such situation, it is better for the public not to be reactive in responding to the report. Let the law enforcers work to ensure whether any criminal action is evident,” Hendardi said. 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(Antara Photo/Reno Esnir) [created_timestamp] => 1415612650 [copyright] => ANTARA FOTO [focal_length] => 70 [iso] => 200 [shutter_speed] => 0.0005 [title] => Sejumlah pengunjukrasa dari Front Pembela Islam (FPI), Laskar Pembela Islam (LPI) dan Forum Umat Islam (FUI) menggelar aksi unjuk rasa di Bunderan Hotel Indonesia, sebelum bertolak ke DPRD DKI, Jakarta, ) [post_id] => 345874 ) ) [3] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 611301 [post_author] => 271 [post_content] => Jakarta. Efforts by the current administration to settle past cases of human rights abuses seems to be going nowhere, said an activist, who questioning promises President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo made during his election campaign more than two years ago. There were renewed concerns over the country's human rights record on Friday (09/12), a day before the observance of International Human Rights Day. There were high hopes for the resolution of past cases of human rights violations, which has long been demanded by activists and victims' families, with the rise to power of President Joko Widodo, whom many have seen as someone not tainted by the past. But seems to have set aside his campaign promises now, said Bonar Tigor Naipospos, deputy chairman of the Jakarta-based Setara Institute. "The steps taken to resolve past cases of human rights violations have been very minimal and slow. They can even be said to be going nowhere," he told the media on Friday. Years of investigations by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) have resulted in reports on past cases of what has been declared gross human rights abuses across the country. Commissioners have long submitted their reports to the Attorney General's Office for further investigations, but to no avail, due to continuing debate over technical issues. Government officials have occasionally hinted this year that some of the cases would be settled through what they have called national reconciliation, but there have been no signs of progress so far. "Jokowi does not seem to place too much emphasis on human rights matters and their resolution. He seems to consider that they are likely to cause political instability," Bonar said. 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According to the Setara Institute, a Jakarta-based nongovernmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, human rights and political freedom, the speed at which prosecutors completed the 826-page dossier shows that they were not serious in examining it. "Prosecutors did not play their role as supervisors; they merely delivered the dossier to court," Setara Institute chairman Hendardi said on Tuesday (06/12). "There should have been a thorough examination to identify potential errors. It is apparent that both the professionalism and impartiality of prosecutors are questionable," he added. A doctored video of a speech Ahok made on Pramuka Island in Jakarta's Thousand Islands district in September went viral and prompted several Muslim groups to report him to the police for blasphemy. Police named the governor a blasphemy suspect last month amid mounting pressure from hardline Muslim groups and a series of mass protests demanding his immediate arrest. "If public pressure can influence law enforcement, the justice system is in peril," Hendardi said. [post_title] => Rights Group Questions Prosecutors' Integrity in Ahok Blasphemy Case [post_excerpt] => A pro-democracy group lashed out at what it called "unprofessional conduct" of prosecutors in a blasphemy case against Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama. 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(Antara Photo/Akbar Nugroho Gumay) [created_timestamp] => 1481025829 [copyright] => ANTARA FOTO [focal_length] => 190 [iso] => 2000 [shutter_speed] => 0.00625 [title] => Jaksa Agung HM Prasetyo menyampaikan pendapatnya saat mengikuti rapat kerja dengan Komisi III DPR di Kompleks Parlemen, Senayan, Selasa (6/12) ) [post_id] => 609431 ) ) [5] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 608531 [post_author] => 271 [post_content] => Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has been criticized for attending a mass prayer that formed part of another protest by hardline Muslim groups against Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama in Jakarta on Friday (02/12). Protestors were demanding the jailing of Ahok, a Christian of Chinese descent, who was declared a suspect in a blasphemy investigation last month. The pro-democracy Setara Institute said the president's action has set a bad precedent for religious tolerance and law enforcement in the country. "Jokowi's presence in the middle of the masses has set a bad precedent for the national life. Jokowi made a compromise with the elites of intolerant groups, which have repeatedly committed acts of violence," Setara Institute executive director Hendardi said in a statement on Friday. The protest rally, attended by hundreds of thousands of Muslims at the National Monument (Monas) complex in Central Jakarta, saw the unexpected arrival of Jokowi and several of his ministers, who joined in a Friday prayer that concluded the proceedings. The president briefly addressed the crowd to express his appreciation for the peaceful nature of the rally, led by Rizieq Shihab, leader of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI). Since its founding in the 1990s, the FPI has frequently committed acts of violence, including vigilante raids on entertainment establishments and disrupting minority religious events. "The masses have become a source of legitimacy to determine the legal process and for making political decisions," Hendardi said. Friday's protest rally was the third in just over a month. [post_title] => Jokowi Draws Fire for Attending Dec. 2 Mass Prayer Rally [post_excerpt] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://jakartaglobe.id/?p=608531 [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2016-12-03 11:15:45 [post_date] => 2016-12-03 18:15:45 [post_name] => jokowi-draws-fire-attending-dec-2-mass-prayer-rally [author] => Alin Almanar [author_permalink] => /author/alin-almanar/ [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 140 [name] => Politics [slug] => politics [parent] => 79 [term_taxonomy_id] => 162 [permalink] => news/politics ) ) [permalink] => /politics/jokowi-draws-fire-attending-dec-2-mass-prayer-rally/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1480787152:270 [_edit_last] => 270 [post_type_override] => NA [author] => Alin Almanar [post_writter_override] => 271 [post_source_override] => 271 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_yoast_wpseo_focuskw] => rally [_yoast_wpseo_metadesc] => President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has been criticized for attending a mass prayer that formed part of another protest by hardline Muslim groups on Friday. 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(Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari) [created_timestamp] => 1480681247 [copyright] => ANTARA FOTO [focal_length] => 80 [iso] => 800 [shutter_speed] => 0.003125 [title] => Presiden Joko Widodo (ketiga kiri) didampingi Wakil Presiden Jusuf Kalla (kedua kiri), Menkopolhukam Wiranto (kiri) dan Menteri Agama Lukman Hakim Syaifuddin (ketiga kanan) melaksanakan shalat Jumat di Silang Monas, Jakarta, ) [post_id] => 608578 ) ) [6] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 604055 [post_author] => 271 [post_content] => Jakarta. A human rights group says next week's planned mass protest rally by hardline Muslim groups against inactive Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama is a "trial by mob" and therefore unlawful and undemocratic. The Jakarta-based Setara Institute has urged police to take firm action to prevent the rally, expected to take place in Central Jakarta on Dec. 2, from proceeding. Police have warned demonstrators against occupying the main roads over concerns that it may disturb the public order. "A demonstration must take place in a way that does not break the law. Rolling out prayer rugs on Jakarta's main streets is a form of protest that constitutes a violation of the law," Setara Institute chairman Hendardi said in a statement on Tuesday (22/11). "Police must prepare measures to enforce the law against vigilante groups that break the law, pose threats and promote hatred," he added. Next week's planned rally follows a similar demonstration in the capital earlier this month, which descended into violence. Muslim groups are protesting against Ahok over recent public comments regarding a Koranic verse. Police eventually gave in to pressure by declaring the governor, a Christian of Chinese ethnicity, as a suspect in a blasphemy investigation. But Muslim groups planning next week's demonstration are now demanding his arrest, a move the police have so far resisted. "The legal process cannot be put under any pressure whatsoever to undermine the independence of law enforcers. A trial by mob is undemocratic," Hendardi said. [post_title] => Rights Group Says Anti-Ahok Demonstration Is 'Trial by Mob' [post_excerpt] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://jakartaglobe.id/?p=604055 [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2016-11-22 12:57:17 [post_date] => 2016-11-22 19:57:17 [post_name] => rights-group-says-anti-ahok-demonstration-trial-mob [author] => Alin Almanar [author_permalink] => /author/alin-almanar/ [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 79 [name] => News [slug] => news [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 93 [permalink] => news ) ) [permalink] => /news/rights-group-says-anti-ahok-demonstration-trial-mob/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1479819520:277 [_edit_last] => 277 [post_type_override] => NA [author] => Alin Almanar [post_writter_override] => 271 [post_source_override] => 271 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_thumbnail_id] => 604122 [_yoast_wpseo_focuskw] => anti-ahok [_yoast_wpseo_metadesc] => A human rights group says next week's planned protest against inactive Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama is undemocratic. 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(Antara Photo/Akbar Nugroho Gumay) [created_timestamp] => 1477233706 [copyright] => ANTARA FOTO [focal_length] => 35 [iso] => 1600 [shutter_speed] => 0.0125 [title] => Ketua Setara Institute Hendardi (kiri) menyampaikan pendapatnya disaksikan Wakil Ketua Bonar Tigor Naipospos (tengah) dan Direktur Riset Setara Institute Ismail Hasani (kanan) dalam evaluasi penegakan hukum dan HAM pemerintahan Jokowi-JK di Jakarta, Minggu ) [post_id] => 604122 ) ) [7] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 543285 [post_author] => 73 [post_content] => Jakarta. Religious freedom advocacy group Setara Institute claimed they have identified a worrying state of religious conservatism among high school students in Jakarta and Bandung, West Java, two of the biggest cities in the country, in a survey released on Tuesday (24/05). According to the study, 69 percent of the 760 students surveyed believe that social and political affairs should be regulated by religious values while 58 percent say they want the Sharia law to be implemented in Indonesia. Only 17 percent disagree with the implementation of Sharia law in the country, with the rest abstaining from answering. The survey also suggests that although 86 percent of respondents believe democracy is the best system for Indonesia, 11 percent of those surveyed think Indonesia should adopt the caliphate system. When asked if they would vote for someone of different religion as their regional leader 38 percent of the respondents said "no." 30.8 percent said they wouldn't even vote for someone of different religion to be their student association president. The survey also says that 36 percent of the respondents agree that minority groups like the Ahmadis should have their activities curbed. According to Setara, 88 percent of the respondents were Muslim, 9.2 percent Christian, 2.6 percent Catholic and o.1 percent Hindu. There was no Buddhist. 57 percent of the respondents were male and 43 percent female. Setara deputy chairman Bonar Tigor Naipospos said the study shows a worrying picture of conservatism and intolerance among teens, exacerbated by a lack of open discussions about religion in class or at home and an abundance of hate speech and messages online. Bonar said steps must be taken to address the issue as soon as possible, otherwise many teens will grow up with overtly conservative ideas. [post_title] => Survey Reveals Worrying Religious Conservatism Among High School Students [post_excerpt] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=543285 [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2016-05-25 13:56:31 [post_date] => 2016-05-25 20:56:31 [post_name] => survey-reveals-worrying-religious-conservatism-among-high-school-students [author] => Nivell Rayda [author_permalink] => /author/nivell-rayda/ [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 2682 [name] => Featured [slug] => featured-2 [parent] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 2723 [permalink] => featured-2 ) ) [permalink] => /featured-2/survey-reveals-worrying-religious-conservatism-among-high-school-students/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1464184481:250 [_edit_last] => 250 [post_type_override] => FA [author] => Nivell Rayda [post_writter_override] => 73 [post_source_override] => 73 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_thumbnail_id] => 199846 [_yoast_wpseo_focuskw] => religious conservatism [_yoast_wpseo_metadesc] => Religious freedom advocacy group Setara Institute claimed they have identified a worrying state of religious conservatism among high school students [_yoast_wpseo_linkdex] => 76 [jglobeShrinker] => http://jglo.be/jiL5 ) [user_author] => Nivell Rayda [author_by_line] => Nivell Rayda [attachment] => stdClass Object ( [width] => 720 [height] => 477 [file] => http://img.thejakartaglobe.com/2013/07/Shia-Children-03.jpg [sizes] => stdClass Object ( [thumbnail] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Shia-Children-03-150x150.jpg [width] => 150 [height] => 150 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Shia-Children-03-300x198.jpg [width] => 300 [height] => 198 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [wysija-newsletters-max] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Shia-Children-03-600x397.jpg [width] => 600 [height] => 397 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [post-thumbnail] => stdClass Object ( [file] => Shia-Children-03-50x50.jpg [width] => 50 [height] => 50 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) ) [image_meta] => stdClass Object ( [aperture] => 2 [credit] => [camera] => NIKON D7000 [caption] => Shiite children from Madura in an internal displacement camp in Sidoarjo take part in a beauty pageant. The children were driven out of their village in Madura after a spate of violet attacks on the island's Shiite minority. (JG Photo/Arief Priyono) [created_timestamp] => 1373559621 [copyright] => [focal_length] => 35 [iso] => 400 [shutter_speed] => 0.016666666666667 [title] => Anak-anak pengungsi Syiah mengikuti pentas seni di panggung seadanya. ) [post_id] => 199846 ) ) [8] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 499397 [post_author] => 272 [post_content] => Jakarta. Anti-graft and regional autonomy watchdogs on Tuesday (2/2) urged Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo to revoke hundreds of regulations issued by regional governments that favor businesses and groups supporting the respective local leaders' campaigns. The Regional Autonomy Watch (KPPOD), its executive director Robert Endi Jaweng said, has conducted a study of 500 regulations on taxes and retribution and found at least 120 to be troublesome. The regulations go against the more superior national laws and in some cases go beyond the leaders' authorities. “The minister should revoke those troubled local laws,” he said, adding that the regulations would benefit many businesses. Indonesia Corruption Watch researcher Aradila Caesar said there are also many local regulations on natural resources that favor businesses financing local leaders' campaign. “The high-cost of local elections have triggered local leaders to politicize [the issuance of] local laws as favors to gain back their financial expenses during the election,” Aradila said. Meanwhile, religious freedom advocacy group Setara Institute, said there are also many regulations that discriminate religious minorities, adding that they were enacted after pressures from conservative groups in the respective regions in exchange for political support. “There are discriminative local regulations that are the result of political pressures from intolerant groups and through the politicization of religion or race for the political and economic benefits of the rulers,” said Setara research director Ismail Hasani. Robert said the ministry has been slow to act on these troublesome regulations despite earlier pledges to revoke thousands that go against national laws or the Constitution. Aradila said people should also be proactive and monitor the enactment of discriminatory regulations and those that benefit an elite few. Citizens and groups, the researcher said, can file for a judicial review from the Constitutional Court or the Supreme Court, or put pressure on the minister to revoke them. “The minister must also regularly conduct studies and evaluations and revoke regulations that are against public's interests or the laws above them,” Aradila said. [post_title] => Minister Urged to Revoke Discriminatory, Graft-Prone Regulations [post_excerpt] => Anti-graft and regional autonomy watchdogs on Tuesday (2/2) urged Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo to revoke hundreds of regulations issued by regional governments that favor businesses and groups supporting the respective local leaders' campaigns. 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(Antara Photo/Yudhi Mahatma) [created_timestamp] => 1396700354 [copyright] => ANTARAFOTO [focal_length] => 24 [iso] => 500 [shutter_speed] => 0.0002 [title] => Masyarakat adat Papua berpakaian adat untuk mengikuti kampanye terakhir PKS di Lapangan Tiom, Kabupaten Lanny Jaya, Papua, Sabtu (5/3). ) [post_id] => 305521 ) ) )