Indonesian Parliament is set to pass a new criminal code that will penalise premarital sex, with a punishment of up to one year in jail, local media reports said. The Draft Criminal Code (RKUHP) is expected to be passed in the Parliament in the coming days.

“Anyone who has intercourse with someone who is not their husband or wife shall be punished for adultery with a maximum imprisonment of 1 (one) year or a maximum fine of category II,” reads article 413, paragraph 1. But the regulation will come into force if there is a complaint from husband or wife of the perpetrator of adultery or the parents of their children who are not bound by marriage.

Moreover, article 144 states that complaints can be withdrawn as long as the examination at the trial court has not begun.

A previous draft of the code was supposed to be passed three years back but it triggered nationwide protests as tens of thousands of people came out on the streets against the law, which according to them would have curtailed their freedom of speech.

“We’re proud to have a criminal code that’s in line with Indonesian values,” Indonesia’s deputy justice minister, Edward Omar Sharif Hiariej, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Insulting the president or state institutions and expressing any views counter to Indonesia’s state ideology, Reuters reported, adding that cohabitation before marriage is also banned

The development came after a meeting between the Deputy Minister of Law and Human Rights and Commission III of the Indonesian Parliament was held at the Parliament Complex, Senayan, Jakarta in November.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, has hundreds of regulations at the local level that discriminate against women, religious minorities, and LGBT people.

If the new criminal code is passed, then it would be applicable to Indonesian citizens and foreigners alike. Business groups have raised their concerns that the new rules might impact Indonesia’s image as a tourist and investment destination.


India today