Indonesians rally for unity after blasphemy protests

2016-12-05 05:35
Indonesians display a large red and white flag during a rally in Jakarta. (Achmad Ibrahim, AP)

Indonesians display a large red and white flag during a rally in Jakarta. (Achmad Ibrahim, AP)

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Jakarta - Tens of thousands of Indonesians have rallied in the Indonesian capital, calling for tolerance and unity after massive protests were held against the city's minority Christian governor.

The crowds on Sunday filled a major traffic circle in Jakarta and sprawled into its main thoroughfares, waving "We Are Indonesia" signs and a giant red-and-white national flag was held aloft.

The rally was held in response to protests against Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who is being prosecuted for alleged blasphemy.

Jakarta has been rocked in the past months by major protests against Purnama, who is accused of insulting Islam by criticising opponents who used

Qur'an references to attack him ahead of an election in February.

Protesters took to the streets on Friday in the latest rally targeting him, demanding Punama be jailed on blasphemy charges. A similar rally was held on November 4, both attracting tens of thousands of people.

Purnama is a long-term ally of President Joko Widodo. He denies wrongdoing but has apologised for the remarks.

Conservative Muslim groups are demanding his immediate arrest. Police say his detention is not necessary and have called for the respect of the legal process.


Read more on:    indonesia  |  religion

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