Brunei to make gay sex punishable by death

Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has introduced a new law where adultery and gay sex will be punishable by death.
Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has introduced a new law where adultery and gay sex will be punishable by death.

Adultery and gay sex will soon become punishable by death by stoning in Brunei.

The new law, passed by the country’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who is also the Prime Minister, will come into effect from April 3rd.

Homosexuality has been illegal in the Islamic country for a long time, but this is the first time gay sex will be punishable by death.

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In May 2014 the country became the first in the region to adopt Islamic sharia law, which includes punishments such as flogging, dismemberment and death by stoning for crimes such as rape, adultery and sodomy, The Washington Post reported at the time.

It was a move that was condemned by Amnesty International, who said it would take the country back to the dark ages. 

Sultan Bolkiah said the new law was a "great achievement."

But the move has been widely criticised by a number of human rights groups.

Rachel Chhoa-Howard, a Brunei researcher at Amnesty International told the Guardian: "As well as imposing cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments, it blatantly restricts the rights to freedom of expression, religion and belief, and codifies discrimination against women and girls. To legalise such cruel and inhuman penalties is appalling of itself."

Former Prime Minister Helen Clarke responded to the news in a Tweet calling it "shocking".

 

"Shocking news from #Brunei  where new penal code provides for death by stoning as punishment for gay sex. Hard to comprehend what could be driving such a barbaric move which stands in stark opposition to fundamental #humanrights principles," the Tweet read. 

The small kingdom has a population of around 450,000 and is strictly ruled by the Sultan, who is one of the world’s richest men. Alcohol is banned as is having children out of wedlock.

Newshub

 

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