indonesia bans sex outside marriage as parliament
A long awaited criminal code has been passed by the Parliament of Indonesia that will controversially make extra-marital sex a criminal offense for citizens as well as foreign tourists. The new criminal code will not come into effect and must be first signed by the president, according to Deputy Minister of Law and Human Rights Edward Hiariej. He said the new law “has a lot of implementing regulations that must be worked out, so it’s impossible in one year, but takes a maximum of three years to transition from the old code to the new one”.
Under the new criminal code, amendments have been made on several previous articles that make sex outside marriage a punishable offense by a year in jail and cohabitation by six months, but the charges for the same must be based on police reports which have been lodged by their spouse, parents or children. According to The Associated Press, under the amended code, “the promotion of contraception and religious blasphemy are illegal, and it restores a ban on insulting a sitting president and vice president, state institutions and national ideology. Insults to a sitting president must be reported by the president and can lead to up to three years in jail”.
The law has been received with criticism from international human rights organizations and activists. Human Rights Watch Indonesia Researcher Andreas Harsono has called the laws “a setback for already declining religious freedom in Indonesia,” issuing warning that “non-believers could be prosecuted and jailed.” He added, “The danger of oppressive laws is not that they’ll be broadly applied, it’s that they provide avenue for selective enforcement.”
However, some groups have celebrated the laws as a victory for LGBTQ minority in the south Asian country. This is because the new code has repealed an article which was proposed by Islamic groups to have made gay sex illegal.