Homosexuality, Adultery Now Punishable With Death by Stoning in Brunei

Homosexuality, Adultery Now Punishable With Death by Stoning in Brunei

A draconian death penalty policy that targets homosexual acts and adultery has been implemented in Brunei as the tiny sultanate's revised Islamic penal code comes into force despite an global outcry.

"I want to see Islamic teachings in this country grow stronger", Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said, according to AFP news agency, without mentioning the new laws.

Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah attends the retreat session during the APEC Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on November 18, 2018.

The company, Australia's second-biggest airline after Qantas, sent an email to employees explaining the new Shariah code, which came into effect yesterday, applies to Muslims, non-Muslims and foreigners "even when transiting on Brunei-registered aircraft and vessels".

Brunei released a statement on Saturday defending the laws, saying the penal code criminalizes and deters acts against the teaching of Islam and "aims to educate, respect and protect the legitimate rights of all individuals, society or nationality of any faiths and race".

"No one should face the death penalty because of who they love", said Penny Mordaunt, UK secretary of state for worldwide development, adding "Brunei's decision is barbaric and the UK stands with the LGBT+ community".

And the boycott of Brunei is entering various industries: adverts promoting Brunei have been removed from London's transport networks, and Deutsche Bank has banned its staff from staying at Dorchester hotels, one of the nine named chains.

Mark Field, Minister of State at the Foreign Office, made a statement to the Commons this morning outlining the Government's position to the strict new Islamic laws.

George Clooney, Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres were among the first celebrities to join the call for a boycott of the Brunei-owned hotels, including the famous Beverly Hills Hotel in California.

The brutal new laws have sparked outrage among human rights organizations and public figures.

The expanded list of crimes punishable by death in the small sultanate on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo also includes rape, robbery and insulting the Prophet Mohammed.

Zayce said that gay people in Brunei, who were leading "secretive lives" even before death by stoning came into force, were now even more scared.

Phil Robertson, the deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, called on the sultan to "immediately suspend amputations, stoning, and all other rights-abusing provisions and punishments".

Harsh criminal and anti-LGBT laws went into effect on Wednesday in Brunei amid outcry from human rights groups and celebrities.

This is not the first time Hollywood has called for a boycott of the two hotels because of Brunei's punitive legal system.

The final phase, enacted this week, makes sodomy between two men or unmarried heterosexual couples punishable by stoning to death or whipping with 100 strokes, Australia's ABC News reported.

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