Brunei to punish gay sex with death by stoning under sharia law | World News

Plans drawn up by Brunei to introduce death by stoning as punishment for gay sex have been condemned as “cruel and inhuman”.

The sultan of the southeast Asian island nation will also bring in amputation for those guilty of theft under sharia law, with both penalties to also apply to children once implemented.

Rachel Chhoa-Howard, of Amnesty International, said the new penalties were “appalling” and urged Brunei to reconsider before they are implemented on 3 April.

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

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

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Homosexuality was punishable by jail in Brunei until the new rules are implemented

Sharia law was instituted in Brunei in 2014 as the sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah, moved to bolster the influence of Islam in the oil-rich monarchy, which has long been home to highly conservative policies.

The public sale of alcohol is already banned there and those who miss Friday prayers or are found to have had children outside marriage are liable to being fined or sent to prison.

Until now, homosexuality – which has been illegal in Brunei since British colonial rule ended in 1984 – was punishable by jail rather than death.

The new stoning sentence will also apply to sodomy, adultery and rape.

Amnesty has labelled the implementation of sharia law as a “deeply flawed piece of legislation” that violates human rights, but the sultan considers it to be a form of “special guidance” from God.

Mr Bolkiah – who has been sultan since 1967 and is also prime minister – has said the penalties will form “part of the great history” of Brunei.

The sharia law will only apply to Muslims in the country, located near Malaysia and Indonesia, which make up around two-thirds of the 450,000 population.


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