Protesters hold a candlelight vigil at Proklamasi Monument in Central Jakarta on Wednesday (10/05). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

No More Vigils for Ahok, Please: Djarot


MAY 12, 2017

Jakarta. Acting Jakarta Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat has called on supporters of Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama to refrain from staging more vigils to demand justice for the outgoing governor — who was found guilty and sentenced to two years for blasphemy against Islam on Tuesday (09/05).

Djarot said the vigils will not change the verdict set by the North Jakarta District Court.

"Please stop organizing or going to these events. It's not going to do anyone any good," Djarot said at City Hall in Central Jakarta on Friday.

He called on Jakarta residents to give Ahok time to concentrate on filing his appeal to the High Court.

"Please help Ahok. Our main focus now is that [appeal]," Djarot said.

The acting governor said the most important issue for Jakarta's residents right now is not just the fate of Ahok, but also how to keep the city — and the country — united.

"This is not just about Ahok. This is an issue for all of us, how can we stay united and rebuild our spirit?" Djarot said.

Djarot said the sensitive issues of race, religion and ethnicity should never be used again to gain political advantages.

"This is a warning for all of us. Don't let the issues of race, religion and ethnicity be exploited by politicians," he said.

Candlelight vigils have been held across the country to demand justice for Ahok, including in Bali, North Sulawesi and Papua.