Criminalizing adultery in Criminal Code will do more harm than good: Activists

first_imgA young couple from Cikupa, Banten identified only as R and M experienced what could be considered the worst night of their lives in November 2017.A mob accused M and her partner of engaging in premarital sex, which is legal in Muslim-majority Indonesia but frowned upon in religious circles.Accusations led to an assault, with the mob demanding that R and M admit to having had sex despite a lack of evidence. The couple was stripped and paraded around the neighborhood. A video of their assault went viral on social media, prompting the involvement of the police. The ensuing investigation concluded that the couple had not committed any wrongdoings.The police then arrested six people, including the heads of the surrounding community units (RT) and neighborhood units (RW) and brought the case to trial.While R and M may have escaped further public shaming, rights activists fear that the incident might become the norm as the House of Representatives moves to continue deliberations on the draconian Criminal Code (KUHP) revisions.The decision to push ahead with the revision of contentious articles comes amid the struggle against COVID-19, which has infected upwards of 16,000 people and killed more than 1,000. The final draft of the KUHP revision still includes articles that critics fear would overcriminalize common social practices, such as cohabitation and consensual sex between unmarried people.The bill could also lead to more acts of vigilantism such as in the Cikupa case and may target vulnerable groups, including women and the destitute.In a recent virtual discussion on criminalizing adultery, women’s rights activist Naila Rizai Zakiah said lawmakers had been ignoring expert opinion relating to articles on adultery, especially in regard to the parties that have the right to make the report.Adultery in the proposed KUHP revision is stipulated in articles 417, 418 and 419, in which the parents, husband, wife or children of the offenders could report a case to the police.Naila insisted that only the husband or wife should be able to report such cases to the police — as stipulated in the current code — as they are the only parties whose rights are being violated.“In stipulating terms for adultery, the Criminal Code values privacy in that only partners may report [the violation],” she said.“Overcriminalization not only harms the country but also its people […] That mistake should not be repeated.”To include zina (adultery) in the Criminal Code is in itself an impossible task, moderate Islamic scholar Musdah Mulia said, as people struggle to define what exactly the term constitutes.Raising the issue in the planned revisions would only create more problems than solutions, she said, as criminalizing adultery would lead to more injustices for women — not so much for men.“The proof that is often used to show that someone has committed adultery is pregnancy. In this case, women are trapped while the men can just dodge the case,” she said.Musdah, a professor at the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University (UIN), urged the state to focus on developing public awareness on morality, including though proper sex education instead of criminalizing adultery in the penal code.Indonesia has in recent years been blamed for contributing to the erosion of civil liberties by allowing for the criminalization of free speech through regulations such as the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law and the Narcotics Law.Activists argue that conservative legislators have for years attempted to test the limits of freedoms by revising the draconian penal code, which has remained largely unchanged since it was inherited from the Dutch colonial era.But now critics fear that politicians could hide behind the veil of physical distancing and other social restrictions brought on by COVID-19 to pass the Criminal Code bill without public scrutiny.Deciding to continue the deliberation of the penal code bill itself was erroneous, Naila said, as one of the requirements that lawmakers must fulfill in enacting new legislation was public participation, which can’t be fulfilled because of the need to shelter in place.House deputy speaker Azis Syamsuddin announced last month that legislators would continue to deliberate the bill, prompting strong objections from activists.Last year, thousands of students took to the streets to protest the bill. They successfully persuaded the House to halt the deliberation process before its last term ended in October.Topics :last_img read more

Souness: I won’t change opinion

first_img Press Association In the aftermath of Chelsea’s Champions League exit to Paris St Germain, former Liverpool manager and current Sky Sports pundit Souness was highly critical of them, referring to some of Chelsea’s actions as “pathetic”. He continued his complaints, with Mourinho responding in a press conference on Friday, calling the Scot a “frustrated man”. Using his hands to gesture, Mourinho raised his left hand above his head to illustrate Souness’ high level as a player and whacked his left on a low desk to signify his own career. When it came to management, the Portuguese’s right hand was raised high and his left, for Souness’ management career, wavered just above the desk. Mourinho said: ”The difference between me and Souness is this – Souness as a player, up there. Jose Mourinho as a player, down here. Jose Mourinho as a manager, up here. Souness as a manager, down there. ”With another difference: I was not a frustrated man because I was not a top player. He is clearly a frustrated man.” But writing in the Sunday Times, Souness was sticking to his guns. “He had his say about me at his press conference on Friday and he is entitled to his opinion, but it won’t change mine,” he said. “When he reflects on what went wrong against PSG and addresses it , I hope – yet doubt – that will include the obsession with gamesmanship. “It seemed more important to Chelsea than getting on the ball and taking on PSG in a game of football, which they were more than capable of winning. They are a far better team than they showed. Getting the opposition booked by their excessive reaction to fouls became their priority. I was angered and saddened by that approach.” Meanwhile, Blues midfielder Nemanja Matic has spoken about his sending off for pushing Burnley’s Ashley Barnes. Matic served a two-match ban – which included the Capital One Cup Final – for his reaction to a challenge from the Burnley striker which Mourinho referred to a “criminal”. Speaking to a number of national newspapers, Matic said: “Of course my reaction was not good but this reaction was because I thought that I break a leg. I am a happy man because I can walk.” Graeme Souness will not be changing his opinion of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, despite criticism from the Portuguese coach.last_img read more

Arsenal players agree to 12.5 % pay cut amid COVID-19 crisis

first_imgLondon: First-team players of Arsenal, head coach Mikel Arteta and the core coaching staff have agreed to a 12.5 per cent cut of their wages to support the club through the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.In a statement, the Premier League club said that they have reached a “voluntary agreement” with their first-team players, head coach and core coaching staff.“Reductions of total annual earnings by 12.5 percent will come into effect this month,” adding that the club will be able to pay back the salaries “if we meet specific targets in the seasons ahead, primarily linked to success on the pitch.”The London club further said that the agreement is based on the assumption that the Premier League could finish this season and they can receive the full broadcasting revenues.“The resulting savings will help cover some of the financial risks we have this season in relation to our matchday and commercial income.”Earlier this month, the Premier League had suggested clubs cut players’ wages by upto 30 per cent but the Professional Footballers’ Association said that would actually harm the NHS due to fewer tax contributions from the players.Other clubs such as Southampton and West Ham players have also agreed on wage deferrals. IANSAlso Read: I was an Arsenal fan because of Thierry Henry: Midfielder Paul PogbaAlso Watch: War against COVID-19: Assam Health Department signs 22 MoUs with private hospitals in Silcharlast_img read more

G/T Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ makes return to Berlin tomorrow

first_imgTHE Berlin tarmac located in the vicinity of High and Drysdale Streets, Georgetown, will officially make its long anticipated return to action in the Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ Georgetown Championship.The venue which was utilised in the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2009, will stage the second group night matches tomorrow. Eight matches will be hosted at the venue.According to tournament coordinator Three Peat Promotions, “There have been calls from the communities via elders and players for the venue to make a grand return to action and we have acquiesced to their requests following discussions with tournament sponsor Banks DIH Limited.The Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ phenomenon is an event rooted in the community culture and Berlin is a part of that fabric that has made the tournament what it is today.”The release further said, “We are pleased to be returning to a venue that was part of the inaugural edition, as the tournament will always be synonymous with and identified by its community origins, which is an attribute that should never be changed. We envision a mammoth crowd to descend on the venue especially from the surrounding environs as it is a historic night.”The round-robin stage will conclude on July 26. The top two finishers from each section will advance to the quarterfinal and subsequent semi-final rounds.Winner of the event will collect $500 000 and the championship trophy, with the second-, third- and fourth-place finishers copping $300 000, $200 000 and $100 000 respectively and the corresponding trophy.They will also automatically seal a place in the National Championship in August.To date Beacons (Bartica Champions), Melanie-B (East Coast Demerara winners), Brothers United (West Demerara/East Bank Demerara winners), Trafalgar (Berbice champions) and High Rollers (Linden champions) are the teams to have secured automatic berths to the national championship.Friday (today) National Cultural Centre(1) North East vs Rising Stars(2) Charlotte St vs Albouystown-B(3) LA Ballers vs Broad Street(4) Leopold Street vs Albouystown-A(5) Tiger Bay vs Future Stars(6) Gold is Money vs John Street(7) Back Circle vs Sophia(8) Sparta Boss vs Alexander VillageTomorrow (July 20) Berlin tarmac(1) LA Ballers vs John Street – 19:00hrs(2) Tiger Bay vs Albouystown-A – 19:30hrs(3) Alexander Village vs Albouystown-B – 20:00hrs(4) Back Circle vs Rising Stars – 20:30hrs(5) Leopold Street vs Future Stars – 21:00hrs(6) North East vs Sophia – 21:30hrs(7) Sparta Boss vs Charlotte St – 22:00hrs(8)Gold is Money vs Broad Street – 22:30hrsFriday (July 26) National Cultural Centre(1) Alexander Village vs Charlotte St – 19:00hrs(2) Broad Street vs John Street – 19:30hrs(3) Albouystown-A vs Future Stars – 20:00hrs(4) Sophia vs Rising Stars – 20:30hrs(5) LA Ballers vs Gold is Money – 21:00hrs(6) Leopold Street vs Tiger Bay – 21:30hrs(7) North East vs Back Circle – 22:00hrs(8) Sparta Boss vs Albouystown – B-22:30hrslast_img read more