Indonesia criminalizes adultery, and anyone convicted faces up to a year in Jail
Indonesia’s Government has approved a landmark overhaul to the country’s criminal code, meaning that pre-marital sexual activity will now be considered a felony. Under the new criminal code, those having sex before marriage can face a maximum sentence of one year in Jail, and those living together outside wedlock can expect to spend up to six months in Jail. A host of changes in Indonesia’s criminal code now prohibits sex between unmarried couples, which can be punished with up to a year in Jail if caught.
Before this amendment, sexual relations outside marriage were illegal but not enforced. Neither the bill nor its amendments specify what additional measures LGBT2Q individuals will be subject to regarding same-sex marriage. While homosexuality is not explicitly illegal in Indonesia, advocates worry the revised code could be used to persecute LGBT2Q people even more, especially since same-sex marriages are not recognized. The new version, which introduced several controversial regulations, has been met with controversy, both within Indonesia and beyond. The code still needs the approval of the President, and the Government has said that it will not be fully implemented for a few years.
The revised code also retains capital punishment in the criminal justice system, despite calls by the National Human Rights Commission and others to abolish capital punishment, as has been done by dozens of other countries. The new code added a 10-year suspended
sentence for the death penalty.
Indonesia’s parliament unanimously approved the country’s long-awaited overhaul to its penal code Tuesday, which criminalizes sex outside of marriage for not just citizens as well as foreigners, prohibits the promotion of contraception, and outlaws libel against the President and government institutions. After the country had received even further rebuke from foreigners about the new laws, the Government had to walk back its stance for fear of damaging its tourism industry.