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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 May 2006, 07:26 GMT 08:26 UK
Anti-pornography rally in Jakarta
Protest marchers
Many of those participating in the march were women
More than 10,000 people have taken part in an anti-pornography rally in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

They were supporting a bill before parliament which would include a ban on public kissing and erotic dancing.

The bill would make organising erotic dancing punishable by up to 10 years in prison and public kissing on the mouth punishable by five years or a fine.

The recent launch of an Indonesian version of Playboy sparked protests, forcing the magazine's suspension.

Critics of the anti-pornography bill say it would curtail artistic freedom and violate women's rights. Anyone performing dances deemed erotic could also be punished by up to five years in prison.

Sex industry

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country, although most people's interpretation of the faith is generally seen as tolerant.

Indonesian politicians have been considering a draft law on pornography for the past two years, correspondents say, but lawmakers have now publicly invited input on the issue from lobby groups.

Supporters of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia were amongst those who marched on the parliament building.

Women and children joined the protesters, many of whom held banners reading "Pornography can destroy nation's morality" and "Indonesia should be civilised".

"We think the anti-pornography bill is a good weapon to curb the growth of the sex industry in Indonesia, which is thriving in Jakarta and many other cities," Mukhsin, a 27-year-old protester, told the AFP news agency.

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