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Declaration of Solidarity with Indonesia’s Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok)

Resolution proposed by Democratic Action Party Socialist Youth
Amended and approved by organizations in the Political Management Training for Young Progressives

We, young progressive leaders from the ASEAN, condemn the trial, sentencing, and arrest of Jakarta, Indonesia’s former mayor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama or more commonly known as Ahok. We assert the following:

• That his controversial statement on politicians’ misuse of Qu’ran to gain votes falls within his Constitutional right to freedom of expression;

• That due process of law was not followed during his trial, when judges ignored the prosecutors’ decision to drop blasphemy charges against him, when they decided to hear testimonies from biased, and hard-line religious experts. This miscarriage of justice is dangerous and can set a bad precedent for future cases.

• That a Blasphemy Law has no place in a modern society, and that democracy thrives when citizens are free to speak their mind. Democracy, in fact, demands discourse and dissent.

Indonesia is a modern democratic society that prides itself for moderation, pluralism, and tolerance. As the most populous Muslim-majority country, it is a welcome proof that Islam is compatible with democracy. The decision to imprison Ahok is a setback to efforts to build a more equal society. It also affects other countries in the region with similar issues, since the fight for freedom and justice knows no country, region, or boarder. We, therefore, demand the following:

• We demand for the immediate release of Ahok from prison. Djarot (The Plt. Governor of Jakarta) has proposed suspension of detention against Ahok as regulated in the Law of Criminal Procedure. In his request, Djarot has guaranteed Ahok. Ahok will not eliminate any evidences as well as flee, therefore there is no reason for the Penal of Judges of the Jakarta High Court who prosecute this case for not accepting his request. In this matter, Ahok has right to get his suspend detention. Other than that, we also call for the end of efforts to intimidate Ahok and his family.

• We call for the repeal of the Indonesia’s Blasphemy Law. Indonesian institutions must respect the right of citizens to express, dissent, and seek redress of grievances regardless of class, religion, and ethnicity.

• We call on the Indonesian government to resist all forms of populism and religious fundamentalism. It must promote robust discourse and debate. It must also initiate programs that foster acceptance and diversity.

We offer our support to our Indonesian comrades fighting for a freer society. The Resistance continues. We, the progressive youth leaders of the ASEAN, are one in the struggle of Indonesians for social justice, human rights, and equality.