Bali sex ban: Big loophole as Indonesians warn setup will be easily ‘abuse’

There is a major loophole in Indonesia’s new ban on sex outside of marriage, which critics have warned could also be “abused” to discriminate against victims of sexual assault.

On Tuesday, Indonesia’s Parliament voted unanimously to approve the ban, which will affect both citizens and foreign visitors.

Having sex outside of marriage could see Australian visitors receive a one-year jail sentence, while cohabiting unmarried couples could face up to six months in jail.

However, a loophole has been found that suggests foreign visitors may have less to worry about than initially assumed.

The law says that only immediate family members affected by the alleged sex outside of marriage can report it to the Indonesian authorities.

This means that the only way Australians could be punished is if they bring a family member with them who later reports them, or if they are in a relationship with a local whose family reacts badly.

Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Australians, with over a million visitors in a typical year.

The same applies to cohabitation, which means that only immediate family members who feel ‘negatively impacted’ can report it.

The Indonesian police will not be able to take any action against you unless a family member officially denounces the sexual relationship or cohabitation.

The law won’t take effect for another three years, either, meaning millions of Australians may be visiting Bali before they have to start worrying about it.

While tourists will welcome news of the loophole, there is less good news for locals who fear the new laws could seriously harm sexual assault victims in the country.

Makeup artist Francesca Tanmizi took to TikTok, saying she was “absolutely devastated” by the bill’s passage.

“If you can’t prove it wasn’t consensual, you can be punished with jail time, and if you think there’s no way this law will be abused, you absolutely will,” he said.

‘Sexual assaults happen. What if you are sexually assaulted and you can’t find a guy? Dare you report it to the police knowing that you might be “self-reporting” a crime?

‘To all the naive people who say, “Oh my gosh, surely you can tell when someone has been raped,” no. Victims of sexual assault always have trouble proving that it is non-consensual.

‘This will protect the institution of marriage, sounds incredible in theory.

“But let’s be real: You have plenty of opportunities for abuse. Although I am happily married and do not want my husband to cheat on me, I am not in favor of this law.’

He also noted that people trapped in abusive families would also be negatively affected.

‘How would an abused child walk away from his abusive parents now?’ she asked.

Makeup Artist Francesca Tanmizi Took To Tiktok And Said She Was

Makeup artist Francesca Tanmizi took to TikTok, saying she was “absolutely devastated” by the bill’s passage.

The New Laws Will Also Apply To Foreign Residents And The Millions Of Tourists Who Visit The Island Nation Each Year (Pictured, Visitors Enjoying Seminyak Beach In Bali

Not only will sex outside of marriage be prohibited, but also living with the couple before getting married, according to the new penal code that will be approved on December 15

‘Because wherever they run off, they better hope there aren’t any members of the opposite sex around because their crazy parents can use this law against them. Remember, only cohabitation is apparently ‘evidence’ that you have had sexual intercourse.’

The new code also expands an existing blasphemy law and maintains a five-year prison term for deviations from the core tenets of Indonesia’s six recognized religions: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.

The code still needs the president’s approval, and the government says it won’t be fully implemented for several years.

Adultery charges must be based on police reports filed by a spouse, parent or child.

Citizens could also face a 10-year prison term for associating with organizations that follow Marxist-Leninist ideology and a four-year sentence for spreading communism.

Human rights groups criticized some of the revisions as too broad or vague and warned that adding them to the code could penalize normal activities and threaten free speech and privacy rights.

However, some advocates hailed the passage as a victory for the country’s LGBTQ community. After fierce deliberation, lawmakers finally agreed to remove an article proposed by Islamic groups that would have outlawed gay sex.

The revised code also retains the death penalty, despite calls by the National Human Rights Commission and other groups to abolish the death penalty. But the new code adds a 10-year probationary period to the death penalty.

If the convicted person behaves well during this period, his sentence will be reduced to life imprisonment or 20 years in prison.

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