In Indonesia, sex outside of marriage is to be banned and punished with up to a year in prison. The parliament in the Southeast Asian island state probably wanted to approve a corresponding law on Tuesday.
Critics have urged the House of Representatives not to pass the law because it violates civil rights in the world's largest Islamic country. According to the plans, the new legislation will come into force in three years.
"Indonesia wants to embark on the path of rights-violating catastrophe by criminalizing extramarital sex," warned Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of human rights organization Human Rights Watch, on Twitter a few days ago.
Hundreds of people took to the streets in several Indonesian cities on Monday to protest the project. There had already been a draft law for a new code of conduct in 2019, which was initially postponed due to mass protests.
Not only sex among unmarried people should be forbidden: According to the law, couples should no longer live together before marriage. Violation would result in six months imprisonment. However, the police would only investigate if a family member files a complaint. This point is seen as a compromise between Liberals and Conservatives in Parliament. Tourists on the holiday island of Bali, for example, should therefore hardly be affected by the law.
Although sex outside of marriage and homosexual relationships are not yet considered criminal offenses in Indonesia, both are considered taboo in the conservative country. Only in the province of Aceh on the north-western tip of the island of Sumatra is the Islamic Sharia legal system implemented. Sex outside of marriage is punished with up to 100 strokes of the cane.
88 percent of Indonesians are Muslims. With more than 191 million Muslims, Indonesia is the country with the largest Muslim population in the world.