Across the region, a creeping religious conservatism restricts and penalises expression. These restrictions were seen throughout 2018 across national and religious lines – from India to Malaysia, Indonesia to Myanmar.
For the third time since 2010, a petition was presented to the Constitutional Court of Indonesia seeking repeal of the country’s blasphemy law – which is routinely used to persecute religious minorities, including the Ahmadiyyah religious community – but was rejected.
In recent years, extremist groups and hardline clerics have been aggressive in persuading authorities to enforce a strict interpretation of Islamic teachings in governance.
 Human Rights Watch, Indonesia’s Blasphemy Law Survives Court Challenge, 26 July 2018, available at https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/07/26/indonesias-blasphemy-law-survives-court-challenge