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Police investigate Widodo’s son for blasphemy

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By Associated Press

Indonesian police are investigating allegations of blasphemy and hate speech against the youngest son of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

Police plan to summon Kaesang Pangarep for questioning after receiving a complaint about a video uploaded to YouTube in May, Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono said Thursday. However, local media quoted the deputy national police chief, Syafruddin, as saying on Thursday that there appeared to be no criminal offense involved and the case should be dropped.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama, second right, walks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, second left, his wife Iriana, and his youngest son Kaesang Pangarep during their meeting at Bogor Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, June 30, 2017. (AP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Former U.S. President Barack Obama, second right, walks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, second left, his wife Iriana, and his youngest son Kaesang Pangarep during their meeting at Bogor Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, June 30, 2017.
(AP / MANILA BULLETIN)

The nearly three-minute video entitled “Ask Daddy for a Project” — a reference to children of politicians who seek business favors — includes criticism of Indonesians who during recent sectarian tensions in the Muslim-majority nation declared they would refuse funeral rites for those who supported non-Muslims as leaders.

Rights groups have frequently called for Indonesia’s draconian blasphemy law to be repealed. It allows for sentences of up to five years in prison and is often used to attack minorities and political foes.

The former governor of Jakarta, a minority Christian, is serving a two-year prison sentence for blasphemy after being sentenced in May following months of protests against him by Islamic hardliners.

The complainant, Muhammad Hidayat, a resident of Jakarta satellite city Bekasi, said in his report to police that Kaesang also humiliated villagers by describing those he criticized for intolerant attitudes as “countrified.”

Kaesang, 22, is currently in Germany with his father who is on an official visit.

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