Indonesia bans extramarital sex; Punishment up to one year imprisonment Indonesia passes criminal code banning sex outside marriage

Jakarta: The Indonesian parliament has approved a new criminal code that bans extramarital sex. Under the new law, criticism of the president will be considered a crime. There is widespread protest in the country stating that this restricts personal freedom and political freedom.

The new law is expected to come into effect within three years. According to this, extramarital sex is punishable by up to one year in prison. It would also be illegal for unmarried people to live together. The law provides for imprisonment of up to six months for such persons. Those involved in adultery will also be subject to prison terms. The law applies to Indonesian citizens, foreigners living in the country and visiting tourists.

International media including BBC reported that the Parliament unanimously approved the new criminal code with more than 600 articles. The legal system that existed in the country included Dutch law and Hukum Adat. Law Minister Yasona Lavoli said that it is time to take a historic decision on the amendment of the law and abandon the colonial criminal code. The minister also said that he tried to accommodate as many different opinions as possible during the discussion on the bill.

Insulting the president or government institutions or expressing an opinion contrary to Indonesian values ​​is also an offense under the new criminal code. Insulting the president is a felony punishable by up to three years in prison, the Associated Press reported.

There is a huge protest in the country against the new law amendment. Critics say that the amendment will destroy individual freedom and freedom of expression. It is also alleged that the new laws have been framed without considering women, LGBT and ethnic minorities. In addition, protesters said restrictions on sex would discourage tourist arrivals and hurt the country’s investment-friendly environment. However, the government’s explanation is that they are revising the laws dating back to the Dutch colonial rule.

Jakarta-based researcher Andreas Harzano told the BBC that hundreds of thousands of couples without marriage certificates could become criminals under the new law.

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