Why protests are taking shape in Indonesia

By Sarah Wagner

Massive protests are taking shape in Indonesia, following news of a new draft penal code that would drastically impact Indonesian human rights. Thousands of students have turned out to protest the new measure.

Among other things, the penal code would include a ban of extramarital sex, an effective ban on gay sex, criminalization of unlawful abortion with a punishment of 4 years in prison, and would expand the country’s controversial blasphemy law. Protestors are also voicing their distaste with the government’s recent passing of a law called Corruption Eradication Commission (known as KPK) that will weaken Indonesia’s anti-corruption facilities.

Human Rights Watch has expressed their condemnation of Indonesia’s new proposed penal code, saying it would be “disastrous not only for women and religious and gender minorities, but for all Indonesians.” In the aftermath of all of this backlash, the decision on whether or not to pass this bill has been postponed to the next set of legislators.

Read more about the developing protests here

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