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Police fire water canon as Indonesians rally against new penal code

Selasa, 24 September 2019 / 18:18 WIB
Police fire water canon as Indonesians rally against new penal code

Sumber: Reuters | Editor: Tendi

KONTAN.CO.ID - JAKARTA. Indonesian police fired water canon and tear gas to break up protests on Tuesday, as tens of thousands of students gathered in cities nationwide over a range of issues including a new criminal code that penalizes adultery and revised laws on corruption.

President Joko Widodo on Friday ordered a delay in parliament’s vote on the new criminal code, which would replace a Dutch colonial-era set of laws, saying a new parliament should deliberate on the bill next month.

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The revisions to the code also include penalties for sex outside marriage, insulting the president’s dignity, a four-year jail term for abortions in the absence of a medical emergency or rape, and a prison term for black magic.

Though the vote was not included in Tuesday’s plenary session in parliament, some lawmakers have said they will try to come up with a new draft to bring it to a vote before their current term ends at the end of this month.

Students, often wearing colorful jackets from their alma maters, gathered in cities across the country.

One banner held by a woman in a photo posted on social media read: “My crotch does not belong to the government”.

Thousands gathered in the front and back entrances to Jakarta’s parliament building, demanding to meet with parliament speaker Bambang Soesatyo.

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Soesatyo held a news conference inside the building urging calm, but refused to answer questions from reporters about whether the vote will be delayed until new parliament takes office, repeating the vote could happen in the current term.

Police then fired water canon and tear gas in an attempt to clear the crowd.