Indonesia plans to outlaw sex outside of marriage
Unmarried couples caught having sex could be sent to prison under a proposed revision of Indonesia’s criminal code.
- Published: 22/03/2013 at 02:18 PM
- Newspaper section: topstories
Unmarried couples caught having sex could be sent to prison under a proposed revision of Indonesia’s criminal code. The revised document was submitted to lawmakers on March 6 and must pass through the House of Representatives (pictured) before it becomes law. (EPA photo)
A Jakarta Globe report on Thursday claimed that jail sentences of up to five years would be handed out to couples engaged in a sexual relationship outside wedlock under the draft of a criminal code revision proposed by the Indonesian government earlier this month.
“[Singles engaging in premarital sex] is liable for up to five years in jail,” Wahiduddin Adams, director general for legislation at the Justice and Human Rights Ministry, was quoted by Tempo Interaktif online.
Mr Wahiduddin said that non-married couples were included in the proposed revision to reflect prevailing norms in Indonesia.
“Our society is not like in the old penal code, that allows this,” he said.
Mr Wahiduddin added that the law would only be enacted if a report against an individual was made by others who felt they have been disadvantaged because of the action.
“Therefore, it cannot [be used] in a sweeping operation in the field,” he said.
A lawmaker from the People’s Conscience Party said he agreed that unmarried couples caught having sex should be punished by law.
“I think, it would be good if this is regulated,” Syarifuddin Sudding said.
He added that his party were yet to discuss the matter.
Ida Ruwaida, a sociologist with the University of Indonesia, questioned how the law would be enforced but added that she approved of the plan.
“The intention of the government is good,” she said. “This is a regulation for social order.”
Indonesia’s 1918 criminal code was last updated in 1958. Details of a revised 500-page document intended to update it were released earlier this month.
Cheating spouses, co-habiting couples and sorcerers accused of performing black magic will face new penalties under proposed new legislation.
The revised criminal code includes a maximum sentence of one year in prison for couples living together outside of wedlock and increases the maximum jail term for adultery from nine months to five years.
Living together as an unmarried couple, although frowned upon, is not currently illegal in Indonesia.
The current criminal code lacks laws on witchcraft or dark magic but under revised articles, those found guilty of using black magic to cause “someone’s illness, death, mental or physical suffering,” will face up to five years in jail or up to 300 million rupiah (920,000 baht) in fines.
Penalties can be increased by a third if the sorcerer offers to perform a spell for compensation and it would also become illegal to claim to posses dark magical powers.
The revised document was submitted to lawmakers on March 6 and must pass through the House of Representatives before it becomes law.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
- Position: Online Reporters