Rights activists in Indonesia stage protests as parliament bans sex outside marriage

Activists protest in front of the parliament building in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday 6 Dec 2022
Activists protest in front of the parliament building in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday 6 Dec 2022 Copyright Achmad Ibrahim/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with Reuters, AFP
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Lawmakers passed a controversial revision of Indonesia's penal code, which also bans the cohabitation of unmarried couples Rights groups slammed the move as a crackdown on civil and political freedoms.

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Rights activists in Indonesia held protests outside the country's parliament after it approved a new criminal code banning sex outside marriage -- with a punishment of up to one year in prison.

While the country already bans adultery, the new law - which passed with support from all political parties on Tuesday - would also include premarital sex. It would apply to Indonesians and foreigners alike, and prohibit cohabitation between unmarried couples.

Critics describe the move as a setback to the country's freedoms. It could also have a major impact on the LGBTQ community in Indonesia, where gay marriage is not allowed.

Legislators defended the passage of the criminal code, which was decades in the making, as a much-needed overhaul of colonial laws. 

The new laws won't come into effect for three years to allow for implementing regulations to be drafted.

Watch the video in the video player above to find out more.

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