Indonesia jail
Single people who have sex in Indonesia could be jailed for five years (Reuters)

Unmarried people in Indonesia could face up to five years in jail if they have sex under proposals by the government.

A draft of a criminal code revision would make it illegal for single people to have sex. At present only adultery is punishable by law.

According to the Jakarta Globe, Wahiduddin Adams, the director general for legislation at the justice and human rights ministry, said the law should be updated to reflect norms in society.

"Our society is not like in the old penal code that allows this," he told news website Tempo Interaktif.

The law would only by enacted if a report against an individual was filed with police by someone who "had been affected" by the pre-marital sex.

Police raids are often carried out to find unmarried couples sharing rooms but the new law would not apply to such sweeps, Adams said.

Syarifuddin Sudding, of the People's Conscience Party, said that he agreed with the principle of the law change. "It would be good if this is regulated," he said.

But Ida Ruwaida, a sociologist at the University of Indonesia, said the law would be "senseless" if there was no field regulation to enforce it.

Under the proposed law changes, men and women who are not married would be jailed for up to five years if they have sex. Single people also five years in prison face prison if they have sex with a married person.

Unmarried couples who are caught living together face up to a year in jail.

Also covered in the proposed bill is witchcraft, which would carry a penalty of five years in prison.

In January, lawmakers in Aceh province of Indonesia, which is ruled by strict sharia law, banned women from straddling motorbikes.

Civic leaders said women had to ride motorbikes sidesaddle to avoid provocation.


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