Amnesty calls on Indonesia to nix harsh blasphemy laws

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JAKARTA: Indonesia’s new president must repeal the country’s tough blasphemy laws, Amnesty International urged on Friday, pointing to an increase in the number of people imprisoned for their beliefs in recent years. The Britain-based rights group said incarceration of individuals under the blasphemy laws had “skyrocketed” during former leader Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s 10 years in power resulting in the jailing of more than 100 people. Joko Widodo, who was inaugurated last month, should repeal the laws – which carry a maximum jail sentence of five years and which are used to punish people for such minor “offencss” as whistling while praying – the group said in a report launched on Friday.

 AFP

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