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Indonesia set to ban sex outside marriage

BBC News logo BBC News 12/2/2022
Indonesia's parliament is set to pass a new criminal code © Getty Images Indonesia's parliament is set to pass a new criminal code

Indonesia's parliament is expected to pass a new criminal law this month that will punish sex outside marriage with imprisonment of up to a year.

Bambang Wuryanto, a politician involved in the draft, said the code could be passed as early as next week.

The law, if passed, would apply to Indonesian citizens and foreigners alike.

Punishment for adultery can only take effect if there are parties who lodge complaints to the authorities.

For those who are married, the party entitled to lodge a complaint is the perpetrator's husband or wife.

The law also allows the parents of unmarried people to report them for having sex.

Cohabitation before marriage will also be banned and those convicted could face a six-month prison sentence.

Business groups have expressed concern about the damage the rules might do to Indonesia's image as a holiday and investment destination, according to Reuters.

Shinta Widjaja Sukamdani, deputy chairperson of Indonesia's Employers' Association (APINDO), said: "For the business sector, the implementation of this customary law shall create legal uncertainty and make investors reconsider investing in Indonesia."

Protesters clashed with police outside parliament in Jakarta after the previous draft of the criminal code was announced in 2019 © Reuters Protesters clashed with police outside parliament in Jakarta after the previous draft of the criminal code was announced in 2019

The previous draft of the code was set to be passed in 2019 but sparked nationwide protests with tens of thousands taking part in demonstrations.

Many, including students, took to the streets in cities across Indonesia with the main clashes taking place in the capital Jakarta.

Tear gas and water cannon were used against protesters who had thrown stones at police.

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