30 months imprisonment and dismissal from military service for the burning of bibles

A panel of judges of the II-19 military court in Jayapura has sentenced soldier Serda Bangun Ahmad Kasmawan to 30 months imprisonment. Furthermore, he will be dismissed from military service. Serda Bangun Ahmad Kasmawan burned a carton of bibles as he was cleaning out a storage room at the Kasrem 172/PWY military base in Padang Bulan, Jayapura on 25 May 2017. The trial was open to public.

The burning of the bibles was witnessed by a resident who took pictures and uploaded them on a social media platform. The pictures rapidly spread among residents in Jayapura who gathered in front of the military base to protest against the burning. Three victims were injured by bullets as military forces violently dispersed the protest. While Serda Bangun Ahmad Kasmawan was sentenced for desecration of religion, the military members who had released shots at the crowd were not processed through military trial.