Indonesia to outlaw ‘black magic’
- Published: 8/03/2013 at 11:49 AM
- Online news:
Cheating spouses, co-habiting couples and sorcerers accused of performing black magic will face new penalties under a revision of Indonesia’s Criminal Code.
Perhaps the world's most famous wizard, Harry Potter (played by Daniel Radcliffe) casts a spell in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Black magic will be outlawed under Indonesia's proposed new Criminal Code. White magic, however, will remain legal.
The revised 500-page document is intended to modernise the 1918 Criminal Code, which was last updated in 1958.
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.
Good or “white” magic will remain legal.
The revised Criminal Code also includes a maximum sentence of one year in prison for couples living together outside of wedlock, according to a report in the Jakarta Globe.
Living together as an unmarried couple, although frowned upon, is not currently illegal in Indonesia.
The revised document was submitted to lawmakers on Wednesday and must pass through the House of Representatives before it becomes law.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Justice and Human Rights argues that the current nine-month maximum jail sentence for convicted adulterers has failed to curb extramarital affairs in the country. Under the proposed new law, cheating spouses would face a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
“[The] government proposed [the new penalties] because the sanction for adultery is too light,” ministry spokesman Goncang Raharjo said.
“In line with current developments, we increased the sanctions to prevent people from easily committing adultery.”
A lawmaker with the House of Representative’s commission on law and justice said that he agreed with the proposed articles on witchcraft, as long as the charges were based on fact.
“It should be based on fact finding, not on someone’s statement,” Khatibul Umam Wiranu of the Democratic Party, told the Jakarta Globe.
Mr Khatibul added his support to new articles that punish cheating spouses and cohabiting couples.
“Adultery is the beginning of many social problems,” he said. “The sentence should deter offenders [and] nine months is not long enough. I agree that the sentence should be increased, but five years is too long.”
He added that premarital cohabitation was a crime that needed to be punished.
Another commissioner disagreed with the articles regulating morality.
“Adultery and cohabiting are personal problems,” Sandrayati Moniaga said. “It’s none of the government’s business; it’s the person’s business with God and their mate. The state should not intervene in personal affairs. Besides, how will they prove it?”