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Indonesia says new laws won't force marital status checks at hotels

Seeking to reassure foreign travelers, minister says 'concern is excessive'

Edward Omar Sharif Hiariej, center, deputy minister for law and human rights, speaks at a news conference Monday. He said, "Please, foreign tourists come to Indonesia, because you will not be able to be charged" under the new article forbidding extra-marital sex. (Photo by Nana Shibata)

JAKARTA -- Tourists to Indonesia will not be asked their marital status at check-in at hotels under Indonesia's newly ratified criminal code, the country's deputy minister for law and human rights said, pushing back against concerns that new laws which include articles criminalizing sex outside marriage could scare away travelers.

Parliament last week approved a new criminal code bill that forbids extramarital and premarital sex and contraception. The new rules, which will apply to Indonesian citizens and foreign nationals, garnered support from all political parties, though they do not take effect for three years.

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