Indonesia ‘sex ban’: Criminal code changes threaten other freedoms


It has been branded the “Bali Bonking Ban”. The revised criminal code which has been approved this week by the Indonesian parliament is getting the kind of publicity rarely given to arcane changes in another country’s legal system.

Indonesia’s revised criminal code has been approved this week by parliament

By Jonathan Head | South East Asia correspondent | 8 Dec. 2022

Headlines around the world are warning tourists visiting Indonesia that they face up to a year in jail if caught having sex or cohabiting with someone they are not married to.

Suddenly a country usually lauded as a pluralistic Muslim democracy finds itself being accused of mediaeval moral meddling.

It is actually a much more complicated story, and the “sex ban” is not the most disturbing change for many Indonesians, who see other areas of the code threatening human rights and freedom of speech.

Indonesia inherited its legal system…

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