A new criminal code that curbs political liberties and outlaws extramarital sex has been approved by Indonesia's parliament.
According to the new legislation, which go into force in three years, having sex outside of marriage might result in a jail sentence of up to a year.
The numerous adjustments follow a growth in religious conservatism in the nation with a majority of Muslims.
The laws are criticized as a “disaster” for human rights and as a possible hindrance to travel and investment.
This week, a number of mostly young people’s groups demonstrated against the legislation in front of the Jakarta parliament. It is anticipated that the new laws will face legal challenges.
Both residents and foreigners living in Indonesia or traveling to vacation spots like Bali must abide by them. According to the legislation, unmarried couples who are found having sex face up to a year in jail.
They are also forbidden from cohabitating, a crime punishable by up to six months in jail. Adultery is a crime for which people are subject to incarceration.
Ajeng, a 28-year-old Muslim woman who lives in Depok, West Java, claimed that because she has been cohabitating with her lover for the past five years, she is now in danger.
According to the new rule, if one of the family members decides to contact the police, both of us might face jail time, she told the BBC.
“What if one family member decides to put me in jail because they don’t like me?
“In my opinion, cohabitation and extramarital sex are not illegal. It is seen as a sin in my religion. However, I disagree that the law should be based on a particular faith.
She claimed that when the bill was first brought up in 2019, she participated in the widespread demonstrations. “For the right to snuggle, I took to the streets,” she read from the sign.
However, the new code of over 600 items was unanimously passed by parliament on Tuesday.
Rights organizations claim that the new rules unfairly harm women, LGBT people, and racial minorities.