Wednesday 23 October 2019

Indonesia to jail people for sex outside marriage

'Rights groups denounced the move as an assault on basic freedoms as fears grow about the trend towards restrictive religious piety and the spread of conservative Islam in the world's most populous Muslim country.' Stock photo: AP/Firdia Lisnawati
'Rights groups denounced the move as an assault on basic freedoms as fears grow about the trend towards restrictive religious piety and the spread of conservative Islam in the world's most populous Muslim country.' Stock photo: AP/Firdia Lisnawati

Nicola Smith

Indonesia is poised to criminalise sex outside marriage, making it punishable with jail terms or steep fines.

Changes to the country's penal code also include financial penalties for anyone found guilty of insulting the president's dignity, a maximum four-year prison sentence for women who abort an unborn child outside of medical emergencies, the censoring of contraceptive advice and the expansion of blasphemy laws.

Rights groups denounced the move as an assault on basic freedoms as fears grow about the trend towards restrictive religious piety and the spread of conservative Islam in the world's most populous Muslim country.

Although considered a moderate, Indonesia's president Joko Widodo has been criticised for failing to push back enough against the creep of a more fundamental approach to Islam in the country.

"Indonesia's draft criminal code is disastrous not only for women and religious and gender minorities, but for all Indonesians," said Andreas Harsono, a senior Indonesia researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Irish Independent

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