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Indonesia ratifies law on sex outside  marriage  

In a few years, anyone caught having sex outside of marriage in Indonesia will face up to a year in prison. 

Indonesia’s Parliament has signed into law a criminal code that penalizes sex outside marriage by up to a year in prison. The new criminal code, which is part of the myriads of changes including a ban on insulting the president and expressing views that run counter to state ideology, will become effective in the next three years. 

The code also includes other morality laws that affect other areas of public life. The law makes it illegal for an unmarried couple to live together and have sex, and also criminalizes publishing defamation articles that make it illegal for people to insult the president or express opinions against the national ideology. 

How would the government know who had sex outside of marriage? 

According to the new code, a person’s partner or parents can report them for the offense of having sex outside of marriage. The offense also makes adultery an offense for which people can be jailed. 

Government critics have said the new criminal code infringes on political and democratic freedom. Many Indonesians, including students, took to the streets to protest against it, resulting in clashes with police in Jakarta, the nation’s capital. 

Indonesian Lawmakers however said there were in-built defenses for free speech and protest made in the “public interest”, praising their achievement in passing the new criminal code, which they said had been thoroughly revised since the country gained independence from Dutch rule.

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