It’s now a crime to have sex in Indonesia (unless you’re married)

Do married people even have sex though? Anyway, Indonesia has passed a new criminal code banning sex outside marriage (even for tourists).

The Indonesian Parliament unanimously passed a new criminal code on Tuesday (December 6) that bans sex outside marriage. As reported by CNN, the new code applies to tourists and foreign residents as well. It prohibits premarital cohabitation, apostasy, and the expression of views that oppose the nation’s ideology.

Bambang Wuryanto, who is a Member of the People’s Representative Council of the Republic of Indonesia, led the parliamentary commission responsible for instating the code: “All have agreed to ratify the (draft changes) into law,” said Wuryanto. “The old code belongs to Dutch heritage … and is no longer relevant.”

criminal code
Credit: Willy Kurniawan / Reuters

Reportedly, this new criminal code, which spans 200 pages, has been in the works for years. Back in 2019, a former draft of the code did not end up being passed, due to hoards of protesters demanding its withdrawal.

Having now been passed, the code makes sex outside marriage punishable by a potential one-year prison sentence. Expectedly, this change has sparked significant concern among human rights activists, who believe the new restrictions will not only “disproportionately impact women,” but also have a negative effect on tourism, amongst other things.

Credit: Willy Kurniawan / Reuters

As stated by Usman Hamid, executive director of Amnesty International Indonesia, “what we’re witnessing is a huge setback to Indonesia’s hard-won progress in protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms after the 1998 revolution. This criminal code should have never been passed in the first place.”