In our final post for 2016, we send off this rather depressing year by taking a look back at some of the expert commentary and analysis published on Indonesia at Melbourne. Thanks again for your loyal readership and support, and we look forward to seeing you again in mid-January.

Indonesia has taken a leading role in the promotion of human rights at the level of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). To what extent does the development of regional mechanisms mean that human rights are accepted in the region? How does Indonesia’s support for a regional mechanism relate to its domestic human rights challenges? Dr Ken Setiawan discusses these issues and more with Associate Professor Dinna Wisnu in Talking Indonesia this week.

Dr Budi Hernawan has analysed 431 cases of torture that occurred in Papua between 1963 and 2010. He writes that although torture is generally considered a hidden crime, in Papua it is performed for an audience, sometimes spectacularly, and is designed to convey a message of terror from state authorities to the Papuan public. It is part of a larger strategy of domination by the Indonesian state, he says, in which the practice of torture is sanctioned and part of policy.

Indonesia’s indigenous peoples face serious challenges, including insecure rights to land and lack of recognition of their traditional religions. How are these issues being addressed, and what regional differences have to be taken into account? Dr Ken Setiawan explores these questions and more with Sandra Moniaga, from Komnas HAM, in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

For more than 400 Thursdays, protesters have gathered outside the Presidential Palace in Jakarta to demand state attention to human rights abuses. Dr Ken Setiawan reflects on the significance and impact of Kamisan. Photo by Ucu Agustin

The focus on human rights in this years election campaign has shifted away from apologies for past abuses to the public seeking improvements to their quality of life writes Vannessa Hearman.  

Joko Widodo is seen as the most committed to human rights of Indonesia’s potential leaders, but what priority the next Government will give to dealing with the nation’s dark history remains unclear, writes Katharine McGregor and Jemma Purdey.