Indonesia to consider banning cohabitation, black magic

Posted: Friday, October 03, 2003

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) Indonesia will consider new laws to ban unmarried couples from having sex or living together, officials say.

The proposals, which would also forbid black magic, are expected to please religious leaders in the world's most populous Muslim nation, who have long said the legal system should better reflect Islamic sensibilities.

Unwed couples guilty of living together would face a maximum two years in prison, said Abdul Ghani Abdullah, director general of legislation. Extramarital and non-marital sex, homosexuality under age 18 and forcing a woman to perform oral sex would also become crimes.

Witchcraft remains strong in Indonesia despite Muslim disapproval. Its practice would be regulated and witch doctors who offer to harm or kill another person would face up to five years in jail, Abdullah said.

The draft regulations, announced Monday, are part of a major overhaul of the criminal code, much of which dates from Dutch colonial times. Abdullah said the proposal would go to parliament soon for debate but could take years to become law.

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