Indonesia Set to Pass New Criminal Law Punishing Sex Outside Marriage with Imprisonment

1: indonesia’s parliament is expected to pass a new criminal law this month that will impose harsh punishments for sex outside marriage. the law would apply to indonesian citizens and foreigners alike, and would allow for the parents of unmarried people to report them for having sex. furthermore, cohabitation before marriage will also be banned and those convicted could face a six-month prison sentence.

2: protests against the law took place in 2019 with tens of thousands taking part. the main clashes took place in the capital jakarta, where tear gas and water cannon were used against protesters who had thrown stones at police. the previous draft of the code was set to be passed in 2019 but sparked nationwide protests.

3: business groups have expressed concern about the damage the rules might do to indonesia’s image as a holiday and investment destination. shinta widjaja sukamdani, deputy chairperson of indonesia’s employers’ association (apindo), said that the implementation of the customary law would create legal uncertainty and make investors reconsider investing in indonesia. bambang wuryanto, a politician involved in the draft, said the code could be passed as early as next week.

By Evey Lovelace

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