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Church communion asks government to protect courts from public pressure

Jakarta Post - May 10, 2017

Ivany Atina Arbi, Jakarta – The Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) has urged the government to ensure that no individual or group of individuals can influence court rulings, as the PGI believes the panel of judges at the North Jakarta District sentenced Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama to two years in prison amid high public pressure.

Tens of thousands of people, under the coordination of the National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema Council's Fatwa (GNPF-MUI), have taken to the streets in rallies over the past several months demanding the prosecution of Ahok amid accusations of blasphemy. Hundreds of them were also seen outside the Agriculture Ministry auditorium on Tuesday where Ahok's final hearing was taking place.

"Ignoring such phenomenon will lead to the destruction of our nation," PGI chairwoman Henriette TH Lebang said in a statement on Wednesday.

She also hoped the court system remained independent and impartial. "We, therefore, regret that the high public pressure outside the auditorium [on Tuesday] was not handled properly," Henriette said.

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/05/10/church-communion-asks-government-to-protect-courts-from-public-pressure.html