JAKARTA - Two year prison sentence against Basuki T Purnama (Ahok) received a variety of comments from the international community.
One of them came from Amnesty International. They said, this verdict will tarnish Indonesia’s reputation for tolerance.
"This verdict demonstrates the inherent injustice of Indonesia's blasphemy law, which should be repealed immediately," said Champa Patel, Amnesty International's Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific on today.
"Despite protests of his innocence and evidence that his words were manipulated for political purposes, he has been sentenced to two years in jail. The verdict will tarnish Indonesia's reputation as a tolerant nation," he added.
Amnesty International calls on the Indonesian authorities to repeal blasphemy laws, including Articles 156 and 156(a) of the Criminal Code that have been used to prosecute and imprison people may be imprisoned for “defamation” of religion for as long as five years simply because they have peacefully exercised their right to freedom of expression or to freedom of thought, conscience or religion, which are protected under international human rights law.
However, international community can not impose its will on Indonesia. International law expert from University of Indonesia (UI) Arie Afriansah said, the international community is entitled to comment on what happened in Indonesia. Provided, continued Arie, as long as not impose his desire to Indonesia.
"It means, issue of Ahok also an interesting issue for other countries," Arie said.
Concerning UN Human Rights Council's dismissal, Arie argues, international organization can not force Indonesia to change the rule of law directly.
"It is the sovereignty of a state to enforce and enforce the law in its own territory and other countries have no right to interfere," he said.
Except, he continued, the national rules are contrary to the international rules that Indonesia has committed itself to.
"As far as I know the anti-blasphemy law does not violate the norms of international law," he said.
Once again, Arie said, the principle of non-intervention is the main thing in international law and relations between countries. Indonesia government should address the international spotlight with a measurable response and in the corridors of international law.
The government is reminded not to involve domestic sentiments to follow or counter frontal world response.