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Support for Ahok in Papua

Radio New Zealand International - May 11, 2017

Hundreds of people have attended an event in Indonesia's Papua province to show support for the embattled outgoing governor of Jakarta.

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, commonly known as Ahok, was this week sentenced to two years in prison, after being found guilty of insulting Islam.

The former Christian governor was recently voted out after angry protests and debate about his alleged blasphemy derailed his re-election campaign.

While Ahok is expected to appeal the sentence, many communities around Indonesia have rallied to show support for him.

A group named Solidaritas Masyarakat Papua organised the event where over five hundred people in Papua's capital Jayapura lit thousands of candles in support of Ahok.

Those at the Imbi Park event advocated efforts by Indonesia's government and military to dissolve radical organisations in the republic.

Earlier in the week, Indonesia's police chief Tito Karnavian said radical elements behind the street protests against Ahok were a threat to the unitary state of Indonesia.

He warned that if this radical movement wasn't dismantled, it could create unrest in parts of Indonesia such as Papua.

Source: http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/330598/support-for-ahok-in-papua