Sex outside of marriage is prohibited by law in Indonesia
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The controversial criminal code includes laws against insulting the president and banning extra-marital sex. Critics say the laws undermine freedoms in Indonesia.
Lawmakers in Indonesia approved changes to the country's criminal code on Tuesday, introducing a sweeping and controversial legal overhaul.
Critics urged Indonesia's House of Representatives not to ratify the package — which includes measures that can punish sex outside of marriage with prison time, and outline prison sentences for couples who live together outside of wedlock.
Members of the House of Representatives approved the bill by acclamation in a plenary session amid flak from critics who say that it will threaten civic freedoms in the world's largest Muslim country
Although the criminal code has been ratified, it will not go into effect for three years.
"This has been 59 years in waiting," Edward Omar Sharif, Deputy Minister for Law and Human Rights, said.
From the time Indonesia declared independence from the Dutch, the revision of the criminal code has been a matter of discussion in the Southeast Asian nation.
"The old code belongs to Dutch heritage... and is no longer relevant now," Bambang Wuryanto, head of the parliamentary commission in charge of revising the code, told lawmakers.
The contentious new laws will apply to Indonesians and foreigners alike.
They also include a ban on insulting the president or state institutions and expressing views deemed to be counter to state ideology.
Source: rs,dvv/fb (dpa, AFP, Reuters)