Police in Makassar in the city of Indonesia have arrested two dozen of unmarried couples in hotel rooms to crack down on ‘immorality’ on Valentine’s Day.
According to a report by Dailymail, authorities in the city of Depok also warned people against the open display of affection.
Millions of people around the world will celebrate Valentine’s Day today with special gestures for their loved ones.
But not so in some parts of Muslim-majority Indonesia, where celebrations and displays of affection were banned for violating the country’s ‘culture and ethics’.
Also, the Sharia law province of Banda Aech issued warning to restaurants and hotels not to promote Valentine’s Day.
Police in Makassar carried out an attack on guest houses on Friday, arresting around two dozen unmarried couples found sharing rooms, including a German national.
‘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,’ Iman Hud, head of the local public order office, told AFP.
The unlucky lovers were quickly released after a lecture about the evils of premarital sex, but five sex workers caught in the dragnet would be sent to a rehabilitation centre, he added.
‘These social illnesses must be prevented. We need to remind the public to uphold our culture and ethics,’ Hud said.
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.’
According to the acting mayor Muhammad Iqbal Samad Suhae, the measures were necessary to prevent his city from being paralysed by rampant sex and drug use.
‘Festivities like Valentine’s Day usually attract youth,’ he added.
‘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.
‘We want to prevent that here.’
In a document released by the government ask restaurants, cafés and hotels not to provide space for celebrations and asked clerics to deliver speeches on the danger of Valentine’s Day.
The national government last year backed off a bill that would have made pre-marital sex illegal.