Indonesia bans sex outside of marriage – but tells tourists not to worry – News

“I want to say to foreign tourists: ‘Come to Indonesia, you will not be prosecuted for this article,'” Deputy Minister of Law, Justice and Human Rights Edward Omar Sharif Hiarij told reporters.

Sharif pointed out that according to the new Penal Code, extramarital sex and concubinage can only be reported by close family members of the interested party (wife, father or son).

The Southeast Asian nation’s parliament approved a law on December 6 that makes sex outside of marriage punishable by up to a year in prison. A second wife is sentenced to six months imprisonment.

Representatives of the business sector expressed concern over the reform, which could harm tourism.

In Bali, the archipelago’s main tourist destination, Governor Wien Koster sought calm by promising that authorities would not check the marital status of tourists.

Koster said the Hindu-majority island will not change its policies on foreigners after the new law comes into force. “Bali remains Bali”, an island “comfortable and safe for visitors”.

However, the new penal code must be approved by President Joko Widodo. The text will, in principle, enter into force three years later, after a transitional period.

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