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INDONESIA - Oct 2, 2003

Indonesia's justice ministry is considering amending the nation's antique colonial criminal code to punish peaceful citizens who engage in common human activities including cohabitation, sex outside of marriage, oral sex, anal sex, and "gay" sex, . Black magic and sorcery, popular in Indonesia, will also be banned as part of the new criminal code.

Sukartono Supangat explained that the new amendments would be a hodgepodge of existing Dutch colonial law with bits and pieces of Islamic law and various tribal laws from Indonesia's various ethnic groups thrown into the mix.

Under the new scheme, sodomy and oral sex will be punished by up to 12 years in jail and "gay sex" would bring a sentence of up to 7 years in jail (no word yet on the punishment planned for prison sex, a popular pastime among same-sex prisoners).

The move to criminalize the activities of millions of ordinary citizens is apparently in response to demands from extremist Muslim groups who support intolerance, discrimination, murder and terror. Islam, however, is not the state religion, and in the past Indonesia has been tolerant of the many faiths practiced in a country that has the largest Muslim population on the planet.

Ministry "experts" are still debating ways to obtain evidence of "morally unacceptable" acts, especially amongst ministry officials.



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