Many Indonesians are concerned about the damage that hoaxes and so-called “fake news” are doing to social cohesion. Professor Ariel Heryanto writes that it is difficult to find a more powerful hoax than the story of the 30 September Movement, which has provided the basis for numerous other nonsensical and dangerous hoaxes.

Indonesia at Melbourne will again be taking a short break over Christmas and New Year. In this final post for 2017, we look back at the analysis and commentary featured on the blog and podcast throughout the year. Thanks again for your loyal readership and support, and we look forward to seeing you again mid-January.

Last week, the Constitutional Court rejected a petition from the Family Love Alliance (AILA) that sought to criminalise consensual sex outside marriage. Rafiqa Qurrata A’yun writes that AILA’s petition was an attempt to bypass the normal process of formulating criminal law, and could have had serious consequences for the rights of citizens.

What prompted President Joko Widodo to declare a drug emergency in Indonesia? Have his hard-line policies achieved their intended results? And what is the future for drug policy in the country? Dr Dirk Tomsa discusses these issues with Ricky Gunawan, director of LBH Masyarakat, in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

Former State Secretary and Islamic scholar Djohan Effendi died in Geelong, Victoria, on 17 November after a long illness. His former student Ihsan Ali-Fauzi remembers a quietly principled man who was committed to challenging religious exclusivism.

West Papuan independence activists surprised many in September when they delivered a petition to the UN signed by 1.8 million Papuans and Indonesian settlers. Dr Richard Chauvel writes that while this petition may not get far, so long as Indonesia fails to address rights abuses by the security forces, the issue will continue to be raised at the international level.

Is Indonesia seeing the emergence of a ‘Neo-New Order’? Is democracy really in peril? Following his interview on Talking Indonesia last week, Professor Todung Mulya Lubis writes that although many aspects of Indonesian democracy are functioning well, there is serious cause for concern.

What does the recent attack on the Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) mean for human rights and civil society in Indonesia? What are the challenges facing the government as it heads toward the 2019 election? Is Indonesia’s democracy in peril? Dr Jemma Purdey explores these questions and more with pre-eminent human rights lawyer Professor Todung Mulya Lubis.

On 17 October, dozens of declassified files confirmed that the United States had detailed knowledge of and actively supported Indonesian military efforts to destroy the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and its alleged sympathisers. Dr Jess Melvin, who was involved in the declassification project, looks at the most significant revelations.

“Istirahatlah Kata-Kata” has won praise for its depiction of the life of poet and activist Widji Thukul in exile. In Talking Indonesia this week, Dr Jemma Purdey chats to the film’s director, Yosep Angi Noen, about how film can provide new opportunities for dealing with histories that remain obscured.

Hopes are high for Indonesia to play a greater role in responding to the crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. But Diah Tricesaria and Randy Nandyatama write that if Indonesia is to be seen as a legitimate actor in brokering peace in Myanmar, it must show leadership in the management of refugees at the domestic and regional levels.

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.