İrem UZUN -TDO- Thousands of students rallied in cities across Indonesia on Tuesday (Sept 24) against proposed changes to the criminal code that they say would threaten civil liberties.Police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse protesters outside Indonesia’s parliament demonstrating against the bill penalizes adultery.
“(We) forcibly dispersed student because they were carrying out anarchist acts, damaging government property and throwing stones at police,” said Dicky Sondani, a South Sulawesi police spokesperson.
Protesters also demanded the government repeal a law passed last week that is widely believed will curtail the investigative powers of Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency the Corruption Eradication Commission, known as the KPK.
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.
Among other things, the new criminal code will outlaw pre-marital sex.Critics say the bill violates free speech and discriminates against religious minorities, women and LGBT people. But Islamic groups, including Indonesia's biggest Muslim group, Nahdlatul Ulama, say the changes reflect "the character and the personality of the Indonesian people and the nation"