New Brunei law will see gays stoned, thieves’ hands amputated

Brunei plans to implement Islamic criminal laws such as stoning to death for LGBTQ sex, and amputation for theft.

Brunei, which is a tiny nation on the island of Borneo, has adopted a more conservative form of Islam in recent years.

In 2013 it announced its intention to introduce sharia law, the Islamic legal system that imposes strict corporal punishments.

The first stage of the law included fines or jail for offences such as pregnancy out of wedlock or failing to pray on Friday.

Human rights group Amnesty International says the new stoning and amputation penalties, which also apply to children, are provided for in new sections under Brunei’s Sharia Penal Code.

They will come into effect tomorrow.

The legal changes were announced “in a discreet notice” on the attorney general’s website, Amnesty says.

“To legalize such cruel and inhuman penalties is appalling of itself,” Rachel Chhoa-Howard, who works for Amnesty International.

She says some of the potential offences “should not even be deemed crimes at all, including consensual sex between adults of the same gender.

“Brunei must immediately halt its plans to implement these vicious punishments and revise its penal code in compliance with its human rights obligations,” Chhoa-Howard says.

“The international community must urgently condemn Brunei’s move to put these cruel penalties into practice.”

Both Elton John and George Clooney have spoken out against the new law, promising to boycott Brunei-owned luxury hotels.

Clooney notes the Sultan of Brunei owns a handful of luxury hotels, including the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Dorchester in London and the Plaza Athenee in Paris.

Speaking in support of Clooney’s stance, Elton John says he won’t be visiting any of these hotels in future.

“Discrimination on the basis of sexuality is plain wrong and has no place in any society.

“That’s why I commend my friend, George Clooney, for taking a stand and calling out the anti-gay discrimination and bigotry now being enshrined in law in the nation of Brunei, a place where gay people are brutalised or worse,” Elton John says.

Brunei’s sultan instituted the Sharia Penal Code in 2014 to bolster the influence of Islam in the tiny, oil-rich monarchy, which has long been known for conservative policies such as banning the public sale of liquor.


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