The Lord Bishop of Coventry asked Her Majesty’s Government: what representations they have made to the government of Indonesia in respect of Indonesia’s blasphemy laws following the two-year prison sentence handed down on 9 May to Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the former Christian Governor of Jakarta, for allegedly committing blasphemy against Islam.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: In response to the verdict, the UK, along with other EU member states, issued a statement through the EU Mission to Indonesia which stated that laws criminalising blasphemy when applied in a discriminatory manner can have a serious inhibiting effect on freedom of expression and freedom of religion. The statement called on the Indonesian government, its institutions and its people to continue the long standing tradition of tolerance and pluralism in Indonesia. Our Ambassador to Indonesia publicly expressed concern about the blasphemy verdict against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama. In his meetings with political and religious leaders, the Ambassador has actively cautioned against mixing issues of race, ethnicity and religion with politics.