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Indonesia Summons UN Official after Criticism of Newly Ratified Criminal Code

December 13, 2022, 05.57 PM - Indonesia has summoned a United Nations official after the organization expressed concerns over threats to civil liberties posed by the newly-ratified revisions to its criminal code, its foreign ministry says.

Last week Indonesia's parliament approved an overhaul of its criminal code, prohibiting sex outside marriage and cohabitation between unmarried couples, among other controversial revisions.

Officials say it aims to uphold "Indonesian values" in the world's largest Muslim-majority nation.

Also readIndonesia Assures Foreign Tourists’ Privacy despite Newly Revised Criminal Code

The UN said the revised laws could result in the erosion of press freedom, privacy, and human rights in the world's third-largest democracy.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah said the UN's resident coordinator in Jakarta was summoned over the comment.

He said the UN should have consulted with the government before airing its misgivings.

"They should have come to consult, just like other international representatives," he said.

"We hope they do not hasten to express views, or when there's not enough information."

The UN official, Valerie Julliand, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Also readIndonesia Passes Criminal Code Banning Sex Outside Marriage

The government has rushed to ease concerns expressed by tourism associations that the new laws, especially those on sex outside marriage or cohabitation, may scare away tourists.

Indonesia's deputy justice minister Edward Omar Sharif Hiariej said the code "does not disturb" the interests of foreign investors or tourists as long as authorities adhere to national guidelines.

However deputy chief of Indonesia's tourism industry board Maulana Yusran said the new code was "totally counter-productive" at a time when the economy and tourism were starting to recover from the pandemic.

Sources: Reuters, ABC

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Source ABC

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