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Indonesia to ban sex outside marriage under new criminal code with penalty of one year in prison, insulting the president will also be a crime

In the next few days, the Indonesian Parliament is expected to enact a Draft Criminal Code that will penalize sex outside marriage with up to a year in prison. The law will also ban men and women living together without marriage.

“Anyone who has intercourse with someone who is not their husband or wife shall be punished for adultery with a maximum imprisonment of 1 (one) year or a maximum fine of category II,” reads article 413, paragraph 1 of the proposed legislation. The rule will be applicable to both Indonesian citizens and foreigners living in the country, including tourists and business travellers. Business organizations have meanwhile expressed worry that the proposed laws might harm Indonesia’s image as a tourism and investment destination.

The draft criminal code, known as Kitab Undang-Undang Hukum Pidana or KUHP, is expected to be passed within December, and according to lawmakers, this law could be passed as early as next week.

This new law marks the increasing influence of conservative Muslims in the country. Indonesia is the largest Muslim country, but it is known as a fairly liberal country with no nationwide application of Sharia Laws. But now that is changing, and Islamist groups are supporting this new law banning sex before marriage. However, the country has hundreds of local laws discriminating against women, religious minorities, and LGBT individuals.

According to the reports, the legislation will take effect if a complaint is received from the perpetrator’s spouse, or from the parents of their unmarried children. Furthermore, article 144 says that complaints may be retracted as long as examination at the trial court has not commenced.

A previous version of the code was intended to be enacted three years ago, but it sparked widespread protests as tens of thousands of people took to the streets to oppose the bill, which they said would have limited their freedom of speech and expression. “We’re proud to have a criminal code that’s in line with Indonesian values,” Indonesia’s deputy justice minister, Edward Omar Sharif Hiariej was quoted. The development has come after the Deputy Minister of Law and Human Rights met with Commission III of the Indonesian Parliament in the Parliament Complex in Senayan, Jakarta in November. 

Apart from banning sex outside marriage, the new criminal code will also introduce several new provisions. The legislation will an insulting the president or state institutions, and expressing any views counter to Indonesia’s state ideology will also be a punishable offence. While sex outside marriage and premarital sex will be punished with one year in jail, insulting the president will result in a jail term of three years.

Abortion remains banned even in the new code, except for rape victims. ‘Black Magic’ is also banned under the new criminal code. There were apprehensions that blasphemy will also be included, but it has not been done.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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