Indonesian Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly met with parliament members on Tuesday (10/10) to discuss the expansion of an existing extradition treaty with China, aiming to introduce tougher clauses that will help combat transnational crimes, the minister said. (Beritasatu.com/Ezra Sihite)

Justice Minister Responds to UN Call for Review of Blasphemy Law

BY :JG NEWS CHANNEL

MAY 11, 2017

Jakarta. The United Nations Human Rights Council has called on the Indonesian government to revise Article 156a of the Criminal Code on religious defamation, following this week's guilty verdict in Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama's blasphemy trial.

In response to the recommendation, Justice Minister Yasonna Laoly, who attended the UN Universal Periodic Review meeting, said his ministry would perform a thorough review of the article in the law.

"There were demands and recommendations [to revise Article 156a] regarding religious minorities, freedom of expression, religious freedom, blasphemy and more. We will discuss it gradually, and a thorough review is also necessary," Yasonna said on Wednesday (10/05).

The North Jakarta District Court sentenced Ahok to two years in prison on Tuesday.

Various responses have emerged following the verdict, while Ahok had been sent to Cipinang State Penitentiary in East Jakarta, hours before he was moved to the headquarters of the National Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) in Depok, West Java.

Yasonna made no promises, and only confirmed that the government will study the UN recommendations.

UN Human Rights Asia earlier reacted to Ahok's guilty verdict on its official Twitter page.

Indonesia previously received praise at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, for improvements it made on human rights, including for the ratification of various international human rights conventions.

The UN Human Rights Universal Periodic Review workgroup concluded a discussion on Wednesday last week of a human rights report submitted by Indonesia.

It advised the country on sustainable efforts to improve and protect human rights.

Watch Indonesia Highlights at 8 p.m. tonight on the Jakarta Globe News Channel to find out more.

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