Ahok, jailed former governor says he forgives and accepts


“I know this is not easy for you to accept this reality, let alone me, but I have learned to forgive and accept all this,” the former governor of Jakarta  said in a letter read out at a news conference held by his wife Veronica Tan on Tuesday.

In the letter Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, (Ahok) thanked supporters and those who were praying for him, or sending flowers, letters and books.

“It is not right to protest against each other in the process I am going through now,” he added, saying he was concerned that his supporters could be involved in clashes with parties opposing him.

Ahok is withdrawing an appeal against his controversial jailing to allow prosecutors to appeal the sentence and calm protests, his family and lawyers say.

His two-year term was harsher than the suspended sentence the prosecution sought.

Purnama’s lawyers said withdrawing his appeal could give prosecutors space to appeal.

“We don’t want to intervene with the prosecution. They can go ahead,” said one of the lawyers, I Wayan Sudirta,

He added that Purnama’s legal team had requested he be moved from prison to city or house confinement.

It would not be the first time prosecutors had appealed against a tougher sentence than sought in the indictment, said another of his lawyers, Teguh Samudera.

President Joko Widodo said on Wednesday that authorities would “clobber” any group threatening to destroy Indonesia’s tradition of pluralism and moderate Islam, and called for unity ahead of presidential elections in 2019.

Hardline Islamist groups, banned under the authoritarian regime of president Suharto, which ended in 1998, have gained ground in recent years, though they are usually small and on the fringes of society.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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