The former governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, or formerly known as Ahok, was released from prison on Thursday morning, January 24, after serving 20 months in prison for blasphemy against Islam.
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who now wants to be called BTP instead of Ahok, had been sentenced to two years in jail in May 2017 in a highly controversial trial, but later had his sentence reduced by four months.
The first-ever ethnic Chinese to serve as Jakarta governor was accused of insulting Islam in the middle of the 2017 gubernatorial election campaign by telling some people not to be deceived by those who use a verse from the Quran to suggest a non-Muslim should not be chosen as a leader.
Those remarks, which were seized upon by his opponents, sparked massive protest rallies in the capital by conservative Islamists.
His subsequent trial and conviction were slammed by human rights groups.
It was not immediately clear what BTP will do after his release, but his lawyer Teguh Samudera said he may go to his hometown on Belitung Island, off Sumatra.
His former deputy Djarot Saiful Hidayat said in a TV interview that BTP will likely visit Australia and New Zealand to give lectures on his experience as Jakarta governor and in eradicating corruption, as well as to Bali and Japan on holiday.
There is also speculation that the 52-year-old recent divorcee might get remarried as early as next month.
Source: Nikkei Asian Review
Photo: @basukibtp Instagram