Indonesia to punish premarital sex with jail time

Indonesian residents could face up to one year in prison for engaging in sex before marriage owing to a new law.

Edward Hiariej, Indonesia’s deputy justice minister, told Reuters that the new criminal code is expected to be passed on December 15.

Hiariej said the new criminal code is in line with Indonesian values.

“We’re proud to have a criminal code that’s in line with Indonesian values,” BBC quoted him as saying.

The law permits the parents of unmarried people to report them for having sex. It also intends to ban cohabitation before marriage, and those convicted could face a six-month prison sentence.

It also includes a maximum of three-year imprisonment for insulting the president — a charge to be reported by the president.

A previous draft of the code sparked nationwide protests in 2019.

Tens of thousands, including students, took to the streets in cities across the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation to protest what many said would curtail civil liberties.

Business groups and potential investors, human rights activists have protested the new law, terming it an infringement on freedom.

But the deputy justice minister waved the criticisms, saying the final revision of the law would ensure that regional laws adhered to national legislation and the new code would not threaten democratic freedoms.