Brunei-owned hotels take down social media accounts amid backlash over anti-gay laws | World News

Nine Brunei-owned luxury hotels have deleted their social media accounts following a backlash over the country’s new anti-gay laws.

The new laws in the Muslim-majority nation mean anyone found guilty of homosexuality or cheating on their partner could be whipped or stoned to death.

George Clooney, Ellen DeGeneres and Elton John are among the celebrities to have called for a boycott of hotels owned by Brunei’s investment agency.

A list of the hotels posted by DeGeneres, a popular talk show host, has been retweeted more than 115,000 times.

The social media accounts of the hotels have since either been deleted or become inaccessible.

Hotel Principle de Savoia in Italy has changed its Twitter account to “protected” – meaning its posts can no longer be viewed – while the rest of the accounts have disappeared from Twitter.

Each of the hotels have deleted their Facebook pages, while the Instagram accounts of all but three have been deactivated.

Brunei has become an even more dangerous place to live for the LGBTQ+ community

The accounts of Le Meurice and Hotel Plaza Athenee in France and Hotel Eden in Rome have been made “private”, meaning only current followers can view their posts.

Dorchester Collection, which manages the hotels, posted an update saying: “Dorchester Collection is an inclusive and diverse company and does not tolerate any form of discrimination.

“Although we believe in open and transparent communication, we have reluctantly deactivated our hotel social pages due to the personal abuse directed at our employees for whom we have a duty of care.

“Dorchester Collection’s Code emphasises quality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees.”

A number of social media users claim they have cancelled bookings with the hotels or plan to join the boycott.

One Twitter user wrote: “I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve been a paying guest at your hotel many times – NEVER again, and all my clients will be told to book elsewhere!”

Another said: “@TheDorchester How many of your staff are gay? You want to stand up for LGBT rights? Then you and your staff must take action. THIS IS SHAMEFUL.”

However, some said they would “stand with” employees of the hotels who have “nothing” to do with the situation in Brunei.

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The Sultan of Brunei is in charge of the country

Several businesses have also taken action since the controversial law was introduced.

TV Choice magazine announced it would no longer be holding its annual awards at The Dorchester Hotel, while travel firm STA Travel has stopped selling Royal Brunei Airlines flights.

King’s College London and the University of Aberdeen also confirmed they would be reviewing honorary degrees awarded to the Sultan of Brunei – although Oxford University said it would not be following suit.

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