Christian Ex-Jakarta Governor Jailed on Blasphemy Charges Refuses Parole, Hopes for Early Release

The former Christian governor of the capital of the world's largest Muslim country who was convicted and jailed on trumped-up blasphemy charges last year plans to refuse parole and is hoping to be granted an early release.

Fifi Lety Indra, the sister of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the former governor of Jakarta, Indonesia, posted on her Instagram account on Wednesday that her brother won't take parole when he's eligible in August because there's hope he might be released early from his two-year sentence.

Purnama, who's better known by the name "Ahok," was sentenced to prison last May after he was found guilty of blasphemy. The then-governor was put on trial after a doctored video emerged that purported to show him insulting Islam while speaking in September 2016 during his re-election campaign.

"Today, many WhatsApp messages and phone calls asked me the same question: Is it true that Pak Ahok can actually be released on parole in August?" Purnama's sister said in her post, according to a translation from The Jakarta Post. "The answer is yes, but he @basukibtp decided not to take it and prefers to wait until he finishes his term."

Speculation about parole for Purnama occurred as Director General of Corrections Sri Puguh Budi Utami declared on Tuesday that Purnama was eligible for parole in August. Under the terms of parole, Purnama would be released for up to four hours a day.

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