With rights on the agenda during the first debate on 17 January, expectations were high. But as Dr Ken Setiawan writes, the performance of both candidate pairs left little hope for an improvement in the human rights situation.

The new Smart Pakem app is supposed to give the public a safe way to report “deviant” religious practices. But could it trigger persecution and conflict instead? Zainal Abidin Bagir weighs up the implications for religion and rights.

Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) head Grace Natalie has been accused of blasphemy for remarks she made on shari’a-inspired local regulations. Is there now no room for non-Muslims to comment on religion in public? Daniel Peterson examines the case against her.

In Talking Indonesia this week, Dr Charlotte Setijadi chats to Dr Quinton Temby about what the youth-focused revivalist movement Pemuda Hijrah and other groups like it can tell us about the type of Islam that appeals to young Indonesian Muslims.

Some 23 people have been sentenced under the Blasphemy Law since President Joko Widodo came to power in 2014, including six this year. Andreas Harsono from Human Rights Watch looks at the impact of the law on its victims, such as ethnic Chinese Buddhist Meliana.

Is a hard-line approach the best way to deal with religious intolerance? Is there a more nuanced way to address the problem? Dr Charlotte Setijadi chats to Dr Sandra Hamid about rising intolerance towards religious minorities in the latest episode of Talking Indonesia.

The conviction of Meiliana, after she complained about the noise of a nearby mosque, has shocked Indonesia. PUSAD Paramadina researchers examine Meiliana’s complaint in detail, and the violence that followed, showing how hate was mobilised to convict her.

Indonesians were stunned over the weekend by photos of kindergarten students dressed as violent extremists. Lies Marcoes writes that while the choice of costume was disturbing, the fact that something like this could happen in an Indonesian kindergarten was not a surprise.

President Joko Widodo surprised many when he selected Islamic cleric Ma’ruf Amin as his vice presidential running mate. Dr Budhy Munawar Rachman looks at Ma’ruf’s record at the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) and writes that if the pair are elected, things could become a lot worse for religious minorities.

When Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf was arrested for corruption last month, members of the public began asking if his hand would be cut off. But as Dr Dina Afrianty explains, Aceh’s Islamic Criminal Code does not cover corruption, and is primarily concerned with regulating sex.

Religious identity politics is increasingly becoming the norm in Indonesian elections. Dr Sandra Hamid calls for more attention to be paid to the period between elections, and how growing exclusivism in the practice of Islam can have implications for future electoral contests.

Abdil Mughis Mudhoffir and Rafiqa Qurrata A’yun take a look at the results of the 2018 regional elections. Rather than reflecting national-level dynamics, they write, the behaviour of political parties and politicians at the local level is defined primarily by opportunism.