Bowing to ulema, Constitutional Court approves “forced” marriages with minors
by Mathias Hariyadi
Civil society outraged by supreme court decision, already criticized for the ruling on mixed faith couples. The Court legalized marriages of minors under 16, considering them adult ready for marriage. MUI pressure instrumental. Indonesian activist: a dangerous precedent.
Moreover, the activist continues, with this law the quality of the marriage which was previously reserved only for persons of consenting age (over 18 years) was permitted. Katjasungkana says the decision hides “the moral influence exerted on judges by the Indonesian Council of Ulemas,” who judges hold as more important than common law and even the well-being of the same young people.
Recent studies developed by the Indonesian Women’s Coalition (KPI) show that 20% of marriages celebrated in the archipelago involve young people between 13 and 15 years, in blatant violation of the law (1/1974 on marriage). And the figure rises to 39% if we consider girls between 15 and 17 years. A few years ago an Islamic leader, Syeh Puii, became famous for marrying his student, just 12 years old, for “humanitarian reasons”.