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Government evaluates criminal code articles on adultery, homelessness

Tempo - November 5, 2019

Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – The reappointed Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna H. Laoly announced the ministry's plan to evaluate controversial articles in the revised criminal code (RKUHP) bill. One of those to be revised is the article on cohabitation or adultery.

Criminal Code's Article 418 authorizes village leaders to take action against acts of cohabitation by reporting it to authorities with a permit from family members of those involved. Yasonna implied that it would be evaluated which allows reports to only be made by immediate family members.

"The cohabitation article can be reported by village heads, which acts on the permit of the parents deemed responsible for the adultery. But that would be dropped. We will limit reports to only be made by parents [of those involved]," said Yasonna in the Senayan Parliamentary Complex on Monday, November 4.

This article attracted the public's attention and was most criticized as it is deemed to be interfering with private matters. Initially, House of Representatives (DPR) member Arsul Sani was the person authorizing the role of a village head into the matter.

"Adultery cases present social damage. The people in its vicinity can be affected," Arsul argued on Monday, September 16.

The PPP Party politician used religiously-based arguments in the process of constructing the cohabitation article.

Moreover, Minister Yasonna announced that other controversial articles will also be evaluated such as the abortion law, which will later be evaluated by adopting provisions from the government's Health Act.

As for the criminal code article on homelessness, which initially enables authorities to impose fines for those who violate, will be improved by enclosing the country's Social Law.

"Homelessness used to be fined physically, but now it's limited to fines. But if they cannot afford to pay the fine, they will be told to enter school, partake in social work, which is better," said Minister Yasonna Laoly.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1268440/govt-evaluates-criminal-code-articles-on-adultery-homelessness