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Adulterers face jail time in Vietnam

By Kim Anh   June 12, 2016 | 02:31 pm GMT+7

People who commit adultery may face prison sentences according to a new clause which expands upon existing Vietnamese regulations.

Article 182 of Vietnam’s 2015 Penal Code stipulates that those who commit adultery which results in divorce or suicide of the husband, wife or their children shall be sentenced to up to three years in prison. The same penalty will also be applied to people who try to maintain a relationship that is deemed illegal by a court.

While some people may support the notion of sending adulterers to jail, others may argue its ambiguous language leaves the door open for abuse of the law. Adultery has multiple levels, from simple flirting and dating, to falling in love and extra-marital affairs. When the act of adultery starts to breach monogamy, it constitutes a crime. Offenders can be fined or sent to jail, according to the code, which will take effect on July 1, 2016, replacing the current version which has been in use since 2000.

The concept of "living together as husband and wife" was defined by the Law on Marriage and Family in 2013. It stated that in the case when men and women organize their lives together, they are considered husband and wife. Prison sentences can be applied when two adulterers live together or cause a marriage to break up, driving a spouse and/or children to commit suicide. Serial adultery is also included in the article.