Indonesian district cracks down on illicit trysts

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A couple in Indonesian was forced to get married and another expelled from a village, an official said Thursday, as a district launched a crackdown on late-night trysts.

Under a bylaw introduced in June in Purwakarta district, couples aged 17 and above could be forced to marry each other if caught alone after 9 pm.

A 50-year-old divorced man and his 46-year-old lover became among the first to fall foul of the bylaw as they were rounded up and made to tie the knot in a religious ceremony, said district spokesman Hendra Fadly.

“They were raided by customary officers because they ignored repeated warnings,” Hendra said.

“They owned up to their error and were willing to get married,” he said.

In another incident, a young couple were expelled from a village after they were caught together in the woman’s rented house at 3 am on Wednesday, the spokesman said.

Neither of them were originally from the village, he said.

Purwakarta district chief Dedi Mulyadi has said the bylaw was aimed at fighting “immorality that has eroded the faith of the youth.”

Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim-majority country but attitudes towards pre-marital sex are increasingly liberal.

A number of local governments in Indonesia have since the 2000s imposed bylaws inspired by Islamic law which human rights group said violate personal freedoms.

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