New Indonesian morality laws have just been brought in. Now, it will be illegal for unmarried couples to live together or have sex before marriage in Indonesia.
The new criminal code has just been passed by the Indonesian government. It allows judges to sentence unmarried couples living together to six months of jail time. And, if you are caught having sex before marriage, you can be sent to an Indonesian jail for a year.
However, this isn’t the first time that Indonesian officials have moved to block cohabitation. In September 2019, Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo managed to delay a vote that would ban sex outside of marriage. This was due to pressure from international protests
The original vote also ruled that insulting the president and symbols such as the flag and national anthems would also become criminal offences. Now, all of these controversial ‘morality laws’ have all been passed via vote.
Indonesian spokespersons have their say on the controversial bill passing
According to Reuters, the “new laws will hamper tourism and investment” but “will not come into effect for three years to allow for implementing regulations to be drafted.”
Maulana Yusran, deputy chief of Indonesia’s tourism industry board, called the new laws “totally counter-productive.”
“We deeply regret the government have closed their eyes. We have already expressed our concern to the ministry of tourism about how harmful this law is,” he reportedly said.
Albert Aries, a spokesperson for Indonesia’s justice ministry said that the aim of the new criminal code, “is to protect the institution of marriage and Indonesian values, while at the same time being able to protect the privacy of the community and also negate the rights of the public or other third parties to report this matter or ‘playing judge’ on behalf of morality.”
At the time of writing, the UK has not changed its travel advice. However, we are expecting this to be updated when the new Indonesian morality laws come into action.
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