Jakarta to ban witchcraft

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP/AFP) – Indonesia will consider proposed new laws that could ban unmarried couples from having sex or living together, officials said Monday.

The draft regulations, which also could outlaw black magic, are part of a major overhaul of the Criminal Code, much of which has remained unchanged since Dutch colonial rulers introduced it.

The ministry is drafting an amendment to the country’s criminal code to include acts not currently categorised as crimes but considered morally unacceptable, AFP reported .

These include cohabitation, oral sex, extramarital and non-marital sex, sorcery aimed at hurting other people and homosexual sex, spokesman Sukartono Supangat said.

“It’s still in its early stage. We’re still collecting input from various parties and experts,” he said.

He said in addition to Dutch colonial law, the proposed amended criminal code will also adopt Islamic law, international conventions and tribal laws.

The planned laws regulating marriage and sexual behavior would likely please religious leaders in the world’s most populous Muslim nation, who have long campaigned for the legal system to better reflect Islamic sensibilities.

Couples found guilty of living together before marriage would face a maximum of two years in prison, said Abdul Ghani Abdullah, director general of legislation. Extramarital and non-marital sex would also be made crimes, and a man breaking a promise to marry a woman he impregnated would face five years in prison, he said.

Forcing a woman to perform oral sex would become a crime, as would homosexuality under age 18.

“This is a response to the wishes of the people,” Abdullah told The Associated Press.

Sodomy and oral sex would be punishable by between three to 12 years in jail and homosexual sex would be liable to punishment of between one and seven years.

A “witch doctor” or his client found guilty of using black magic to hurt other people could spend up to five years in jail. Supangat said ministry experts are still debating ways to obtain evidence of such acts.

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Sep. 30, 2003

Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday October 1, 2003.
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