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UN condemns Brunei law that calls for death by stoning for gay sex

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
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The United Nations Human Rights office has condemned a revised penal code in Brunei which calls 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.

BruneiBrunei, a predominately Muslim state in Southeast Asia where homosexuality has long been criminalized, will implement a set of extreme Sharia laws that demand death by stoning for homosexual acts, adultery, rape, murder, and for declaring oneself to be a non-Muslim.

The law comes into effect on April 22.

“Application of the death penalty for such a broad range of offenses contravenes international law,” said Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

“We urge the Government to delay the entry into force of the revised penal code and to conduct a comprehensive review ensuring its compliance with international human rights standards,” he told a news conference in Geneva.

“Under international law, stoning people to death constitutes torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and is thus clearly prohibited,” stated Colville.

The criminalization and application of the death penalty for consensual relations between adults in private also violates a whole host of rights, including the rights to privacy, to equality before the law, the right to health and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, Colville added.

The provisions of the revised penal code may also encourage further violence and discrimination against LGBT people, he warned.

The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, is the owner of the famed Beverly Hills Hotel in California.

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