The Muslim group organizing this week's so-called 505 rally against incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama claims that it has informed the police of the plan on Tuesday (02/05). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Organizers of 505 Rally Against Ahok Say They Notified Police on Tuesday


MAY 02, 2017

Jakarta. The Muslim group organizing this week's so-called 505 rally against incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama claims that it has informed the police of the plan on Tuesday (02/05).

This comes after the Jakarta Police previously said the organizers had yet to notify them of the planned mass protest rally.

Friday's planned demonstration will come four days before North Jakarta District Court judges are set to issue a verdict in Ahok's blasphemy trial. The protest action will also be the second after prosecutors two weeks ago recommended a lighter sentence of two years' probation and a possible one-year prison term for Ahok.

Kapitra Ampera, a lawyer for the group that has been organizing several demonstrations against the governor, said protesters are demanding a heavier sentence.


"Ahok, the blasphemer of Islam, must be severely punished. Justice must be upheld," he said in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Muslim protesters will gather once more at the Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta on Friday before marching to the nearby Supreme Court building.

Kapitra said the group has given notice to the Jakarta Police on Tuesday of the planned demonstration, which he claimed will involve around 5 million participants.

"We have informed the police about it this afternoon. No one can prohibit us, including the police," he told the Jakarta Globe.

The planned demonstration follows a similar one last Friday, which involved Muslim groups marching to the North Jakarta District Court building.

Muslim protesters believe a public comment by Ahok last year against the use of the Koran for political campaigning constituted blasphemy.

Ahok, a Christian of Chinese descent, has faced charges of blasphemy and hate speech, which carry prison terms of up to five years and four years, respectively.

But the prosecutors' sentence recommendation, if approved by the judges, may mean that Ahok will only serve time in prison if he is again found guilty of committing blasphemy or any other crime within two years.