Category: Analysis

President Joko Widodo has offered little support to the Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) since the shocking attack on its offices two weeks ago. Professor Tim Lindsey writes that civil society should not expect much from Jokowi, who is in the unenviable position of having to keep the oligarchs happy and Islamist agitators at bay.

Given the partisan nature of most mainstream media, many Indonesians are now turning to alternative online sources, many of which encourage sectarianism. Dr Ross Tapsell writes that Indonesia is in dire need of a strong, independent public media that could provide an alternative to privately owned conglomerates and the spread of hoax news and disinformation.

The past two days have seen unprecedented attacks on one of Indonesia’s oldest civil society organisations, the Legal Aid Foundation (LBH). Former LBH Jakarta director Nurkholis Hidayat says the weekend’s events represent a deeply troubling new low for freedom of expression.

The government has ambitious plans to hand over 12.7 million hectares of forest to community management by 2019. Dr Abidah Setyowati writes that while the social forestry initiative could increase communities’ access to, and ability to obtain benefits from, forest resources, several major challenges remain.

What role did the internet play in the divisive Jakarta gubernatorial campaign? To what extent can the bitterness of the campaign be explained by Indonesia’s conservative turn more generally? Dr Jemma Purdey explores these questions and more with Associate Professor Merlyna Lim in the Talking Indonesia podcast.

One person was killed and 16 others injured when police opened fire on a group of Papuan protesters last month. Hipolitus Yolisandry Ringgi Wangge writes that the shooting highlights the Joko Widodo government’s misguided and poorly coordinated approach to issues in Papua.

President Joko Widodo stunned many observers recently when he appeared to give the go-ahead for police to shoot drug dealers who resist arrest. Dr Dave McRae has examined media reports of police shootings and has found that the government’s tough on drugs rhetoric may be affecting how police deal with these cases.

President Joko Widodo recently issued an interim emergency law (or perppu) partly intended to allow the government to ban Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI). Professor Tim Lindsey writes that the regulation has ended up forcing civil society groups that are usually threatened by hard-liners into their camp.

The government recently announced it was blocking messaging application Telegram for providing a forum for extremist propaganda. But Nava Nuraniyah writes that the real reason for the ban may have been to force the tech company to comply with government regulations.

After leading massive protests against former Jakarta Governor Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama, the past few months have seen the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) doggedly pursuing individuals who have criticised the organisation online. Sana Jaffrey and Siswo Mulartono look at the significance of this phenomenon and explain why is it likely to continue.

The recent Jakarta gubernatorial election saw the mobilisation of religious sentiment on a massive scale. Postgraduate students Abdil Mughis Mudhoffir, Lukman-nul Hakim and Diatyka Widya Permata Yasih look at the growing use of identity politics in Indonesian electoral democracy.

On 9 May, judges sentenced Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama to two years in prison for blasphemy, surprising many, as prosecutors had not pursued a custodial sentence. Professor Simon Butt presents a legal analysis of the decision. What arguments did the court hear and what did it accept?