Women detained during a raid at a hotel in Makassar, Indonesia (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Valentine's Day crackdown sees Indonesia ban condoms and displays of affection


Indonesia has issued a crackdown on public displays of affection and pre-marital sex during this year's Valentine's Day.

Authorities in some regions of the Muslim-majority country warned frisky couples that becoming too amorous in public could result in harsh penalties.

Police in Makassar, in Sulawesi, arrested around two dozen unmarried people found sharing rooms, including a German national, during raids on guest houses on Friday.

The couples were given a stern lecture about the dangers of pre-marital sex, according to reports.

Five sex workers who were caught up in the operation will be sent to a rehabilitation centre.
Police questioning a man after he was detained in a raid at a hotel (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

"We caught the German with his Indonesian partner in a motel and they weren't husband and wife so that's why we arrested them," said Iman Hud, head of the local public order office.

"These social illnesses must be prevented. We need to remind the public to uphold our culture and ethics."

The sale of condoms is also being strictly regulated and buyers must be provide proof that they are over the age of consent.
Couples were given a stern lecture (Image: AFP via Getty Images)
A policewoman escorting a woman caught up in the crackdown (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Makassar has also banned the open sale of condoms and applied strict age checks to make sure those buying them are over the age of consent - which is 16.

"Condoms are for married adults," public order chief Hud said. "They're not supposed to be displayed and sold openly, particularly near snacks for kids like chocolate."

"Festivities like Valentine's Day usually attract youth.

"That's when they are out of control and doing things which violate our norms and traditions, like consuming drugs and engaging in free sex.
Authorities arrested frisky couples (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

"We want to prevent that here."

In Jakarta, restaurants and cafe's openly displayed Valentine's decorations underlining the different attitudes held in different parts of the country.

Across the archipelago in conservative Aceh, the only region in Indonesia that imposes Sharia law, a government circular called for residents not to celebrate the romantic day and to report any violations.

The document also told restaurants, cafés and hotels not to provide space for celebrations and asked clerics to deliver speeches on the danger of Valentine's Day.

The latest crackdown comes after the national government last year backed off a bill that would have made pre-marital sex illegal.