Indonesia’s parliament has approved legislation that criminalises extramarital sex for citizens as well as visiting foreigners.
Deputy house speaker Sufmi Dasco Ahmad, after the new criminal code was endorsed by all nine parties in a sweeping overhaul of the legal code, banged the gavel to signal the text was approved and shouted “legal”.
Addressing the parliament, Yasonna Laoly, Minister of Law and Human Rights said, “We have tried our best to accommodate the important issues and different opinions which were debated.”
“However, it is time for us to make a historical decision on the penal code amendment and to leave the colonial criminal code we inherited behind,” he added.
According to Deputy Minister of Law and Human Rights Edward Hiariej, the new criminal code must be signed by the president. The criminal code will not apply immediately. He said the new law “has a lot of implementing regulations that must be worked out, so it’s impossible in one year.”
Some of the most controversial articles in the newly passed code criminalise extra-marital sex, as well as the cohabitation of unmarried couples.
According to reports, illegal cohabitation will have a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment, and sex outside of marriage will be punished with one year in prison. But the adultery charges must be based on police reports lodged by their spouse, parents or children.