News (World)

Brunei to move forward with harsh law calling for death by stoning for gays

Brunei to move forward with harsh law calling for death by stoning for gays

BANDAR SERI BEGWAN, Brunei — The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, has announced that harsh Islamic punishments that call for the death penalty for numerous offenses, including same-sex sexual activity, will come into effect on Thursday despite international condemnation.

The Great Mosque in Brunei
The Great Mosque in Brunei

Authorities in the predominately Muslim state in Southeast Asia, announced launch of the first phase of the new penal code at a sharia “declaration ceremony” on Wednesday, reports AFP.

“I place my faith in and am grateful to Allah the almighty to announce that tomorrow, Thursday May 1, 2014, will see the enforcement of sharia law phase one, to be followed by the other phases,” the monarch said in a royal decree Wednesday.

The sharia penalties, implemented in three phases over the next three years, will eventually include flogging, severing of limbs and death by stoning. The law was to come into effect last week, but was postponed amid condemnation from the United Nations and rare criticism at home.

The Brunei Times reports that the three phases include:

  • Phase 1: Fines and prison sentences for various crimes;
  • Phase 2: Severing of limps for for crimes of theft;
  • Phase 3: Death by stoning for sexual crimes, including adultery, rape and same-sex sexual activity
  • The law also states that “the order shall apply to both Muslims and non-Muslims, except where expressly provided.”

    Article continues below

    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.”

    Hassanal Bolkiah, the 67-year-old sultan — one of the world’s wealthiest men — said the move was “a must” under Islam, dismissing “never-ending theories” that sharia punishments were cruel.

    News of the Sultan’s assets, including the Dorchester Collection, a group of luxury hotels that includes the famed Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles.

    Earlier this month, a group of high-dollar LGBT donors cancelled plans to hold a conference at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and celebrities Ellen DeGeneres and Sharon Osborne have spoken out to call attention to the hotels’ owner.

    Don't forget to share:

    Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

    Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

    Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

    N.H. to study constitutional provision to ban anti-gay discrimination

    Previous article

    Advocates say NYC municipal ID card would help transgender residents

    Next article