Woman spared prison for bringing dog into mosque

By: AFP      Published: 03:26 PM, 6 Feb, 2020
Woman spared prison for bringing dog into mosque
Jakarta Post

A Christian woman charged with blasphemy has escaped jail for bringing a dog into a mosque, the latest religious case to draw headlines in Indonesia, the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation.

The case of Suzethe Margareth, 52, sparked outrage last summer when a video emerged showing her in a mosque in Bogor, near the capital Jakarta, wearing shoes and letting her dog run loose.

Dogs are considered impure in Islam, and wearing shoes is forbidden in a mosque.

A Bogor court ruled Wednesday that Margareth was guilty, but decided not to impose a prison term because she has paranoid schizophrenia.

Prosecutors had demanded a nine-month jail term.

The dog involved in the incident reportedly died soon after being hit by a car.

This is the latest in a string of controversial blasphemy cases in Indonesia, where rights groups have long campaigned against laws they say are frequently misused to target religious minorities. Blasphemy convictions can result in up to five years in prison.