The Christian former governor of the Indonesian capital Jakarta, known as “Ahok”, has refused parole in the light of a possibly early release for good behaviour in August, AsiaNews reports.
Ahok’s sister, Fifi Lety Indra, wrote on social media that he “has decided against parole and will wait until he is completely free”.
From next month onwards Ahok could have been eligible for [daily] four-hour parole.
However, according to his sister, he could possibly be released early August after serving almost two thirds of the two years’ prison sentence he received in May 2017 for alleged blasphemy.
According to Asianews “an early release would put an end to [the] controversial legal case” which was seen as politically motivated.
Ahok, a Chinese Christian, was charged with blasphemy after accusing his political opponents of using Qur’anic verses to stop Muslims from voting for him in the bid for re-election as Jakarta’s governor.
In February this year he filed an appeal application after a communications professor from Jakarta, Buni Yani, was sentenced to one and a half years in jail for editing a video which then went viral, and which formed the basis for the blasphemy allegations against Ahok.
Indonesia’s Supreme Court however rejected the appeal to review his conviction.
In March it was reported that Ahok also may have been a victim of a sophisticated anti-government campaign of “fake news” and malicious bots.
During the trial Ahok told the court he had been the target of racist and religious attacks since he was elected to public office in 2005.