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Brunei postpones new penal code that calls for ‘death by stoning’ for gay sex

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
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Brunei has postponed its planned implementation of its new penal code that includes harsh Islamic punishments that call for the death penalty for numerous offenses, including same-sex sexual activity, and introduces stoning to death as the specific method of execution for crimes of a sexual nature.

Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal BolkiahAP

Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah

The law was to come into effect Tuesday but postponed amid condemnation from the United Nations and rare criticism at home, reports AFP.

No confirmed new date was given for the start of the punishments — which will eventually include flogging, the severing of limbs and death by stoning — but an official told the Brunei Times they would begin “in the very near future”.

The new criminal code calls for execution by stoning as the punishment for gay sex, adultery and rape, and introduces the death penalty for defamation of the Prophet Mohammed, blasphemy and declaring oneself a non-Muslim.

The United Nations Human Rights office has condemned the revised penal code, saying that “application of the death penalty for such a broad range of offenses contravenes international law.’

Authorities in predominately Muslim state in Southeast Asia, said a sharia “declaration ceremony” would go ahead as planned on April 30 to launch the first phase of the new penal code.

Last week, a group of high-dollar LGBT donors cancelled plans to hold its upcoming conference at the famed Beverley Hills Hotel in Los Angeles after leaning that the hotel’s owner was the Sultan of Brunei.

Sultan Hassanal — one of the world’s wealthiest men — announced in October that new sharia law punishments would be phased in.

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