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Sex outside marriage now punishable by jail time in Indonesia

Indonesia has banned all forms of sex outside marriage. Anyone caught is likely to be sent to jail, even tourists visiting the Southeast Asian holiday destination.

Extramarital sex will be punished by a year imprisonment and six months unwed in . This vote was made by the MPs.

These laws will be applicable to Indonesians as well as foreigners, which includes tourists to Bali and Lombok.

The amended code bans contraception and insults to the president. It also prohibits spreading views that are contrary to the secular national ideology known as Pancasila.


To allow for time to draft regulations, it will take three years before the laws are in effect.

Some are concerned that the changes could scare off tourists.

Maulana Yusran (Deputy Chief of the Tourism Industry Board) stated that the code was “totally contra-productive” at a moment when tourism and the economy were beginning to recover from the pandemic.

“We are deeply sorry that the government has closed their eyes to this.” He said that we had already raised concerns to the ministry about the law’s harmful effects.

Reported complaints about extramarital sex and cohabiting can only be made by close relatives, such as a spouse, parent, or child.

This bill is a watering-down of a prior version, which was stopped in 2019 by nationwide demonstrations.

Image Protesters camp outside the Parliament building in Jakarta

Rights groups condemned the revisions, saying they were too broad or vague. They could penalise normal activities, and threaten freedom to express one’s opinions.

It was hailed by some advocates as a victory for the country’s LGBTQ minorities.

Politicians finally agreed to repeal an Islamic group’s article that would have made homosexual sex illegal.

The revised code still makes abortion a crime, but it allows exceptions for women suffering from life-threatening medical conditions or for survivors of rape, provided the foetus is not more than 12 weeks old.


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