President Joko Widodo took office in 2014 with high public hopes that he would address the human rights failures of his predecessors. Widodo made commitments on religious freedom, but religious minorities face continuing harassment, intimidation, and violence by Islamist militants. Local Islamic bylaws violate the rights of women, LGBT people, and religious minorities. Widodo announced that Papua would be open to foreign journalists, though the army has tried to place conditions on reporting. Large numbers of political prisoners convicted for peaceful expression have yet to be released, including in Papua and the Moluccas. Widodo shocked many by implementing the death penalty on a widespread basis against convicted drug traffickers.
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