Indonesia is changing its criminal laws to align with Islamic Shari’a and the country’s culture.
The Indonesian parliament will likely pass a new criminal law this month, which, on its basis, having an extramarital affair is a crime, and the punishment can be up to one year in prison. In addition, insulting the president or governmental institutions and opposing the ideology of the Indonesian government will also be prohibited.
Edvard Omar Sharif Hierij, Indonesia’s Deputy Minister of Justice, told Reuters that the new laws, which have been under discussion for decades, are expected to be approved by 15th December. He added that we are proud to have a penal code in line with Indonesia’s Islamic national values.
Lawmaker Bambang Vorianto, who helped draft the new law, said that the new law could be passed as early as next week. If approved, this law will apply equally to foreigners and Indonesians. Some Islamic groups in Indonesia informed that they would support his draft.
In recent months, the Indonesian government has held public consultations throughout the country to inform about the changes. Changing the death penalty to life imprisonment in case of good behavior, making abortion a crime except in exceptional circumstances, and witchcraft are among the details of the new draft.
However, business groups in the country have raised concerns that the new laws could damage Indonesia’s image as a vacation and investment destination. Some other critics have described these laws as limiting individual and social freedoms.