CLOSE
Loading...
12° Nicosia,
05 February, 2023
 
Home  /  News

Indonesia: Unmarried couples could face jail time for having sex

The controversial legislation set to be passed on December 15 will make sex outside of marriage punishable by jail, tourists included

Source: Daily Mail

The Indonesian parliament has unanimously approved strict new laws that will criminalize sex outside of marriage.

The new laws will also apply to foreign residents and tourists, including up to a million Australians who visit the island holiday hotspot Bali each year.

Officials have confirmed unmarried couples caught having sex face up to one year behind bars once the laws are passed later this month.

Living with your partner before you are married will also be banned and involves a penalty of up to six months in jail.

The new laws will also apply to foreign residents and tourists, including up to a million Australians who visit the island holiday hotspot Bali each year.

The new criminal code is expected to be passed on December 15 but won't come into effect immediately, which could take up to three years.

'All have agreed to ratify the (draft changes) into law,' lawmaker Bambang Wuryanto said.

'The old code belongs to Dutch heritage … and is no longer relevant.'

The law may make it more difficult for unmarried couples to check into a hotel room.

Couples can only be prosecuted if they are reported by a spouse, parents or their children.

The criminal code won't come into effect immediately.

Deputy Minister of Law and Human Rights Edward Hiariej 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.

The draft has the support of some Islamic groups in a country where conservatism is on the rise, although opponents argue that it reverses liberal reforms enacted after the 1998 fall of authoritarian leader Suharto.

A previous draft of the code was set to be passed in 2019 but sparked nationwide protests.

News of the new laws being approved quickly sparked outrage.

'We are going backward... repressive laws should have been abolished but the bill shows that the arguments of scholars abroad are true, that our democracy is indisputably in decline,' Amnesty International Indonesia director Usman Hamid said.

Business groups have warned the new laws could destroy Indonesia's image as a tourism and investment destination.

Maulana Yusran, deputy chief of Indonesia's tourism industry board, said the new bill was 'totally counter-productive' at a time when the economy and tourism were starting to recover from the pandemic.

'Hotels or any accommodation facilities are like second homes for tourists. With the ratification of this criminal code, hotels are now problematic places,' he told Reuters.

The new rules could have a major impact on the LGBTQ community in Indonesia, where gay marriage is not allowed.

TAGS

News: Latest Articles

X