Under new Islamic criminal laws Brunei to punish gay sex with death stoning

Brunei now has new criminal laws and under it gay sex is punishable by stoning offenders to death. Celebrities, rights groups and other countries have strongly condemned the new Islamic criminal laws of the oil-rich country where two-thirds of the 430,000 population are Muslim.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah instituted the new sections of Brunei’s Shariah Penal Code in 2014 to bolster influence of Islam in the country. It is applicable to children and foreigners too even if they are non-Muslim.

Homosexuality was also punishable before 2014 in the country but limited to a jail term of up to ten years.

Under the new Islamic criminal laws adulterators too risk such death punishment by stoning. First attempt thieves will face amputation of right hand while second attempt will lead to the same of left feet.

Public criticism in Brunei is extremely rare and so no vocal opposition could be seen with the implementation of new Islamic laws on Wednesday as the sultan is head of state and has full executive authority.

United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany strongly urged the sultan on Tuesday to halt plans of implementing the new penalties.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah instituted the new sections of Brunei’s Shariah Penal Code in 2014 to bolster influence of Islam.

Ellen DeGeneres, Elton John, George Clooney and several other celebrities voiced against the new laws.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged the government to “stop the entry into force of this Draconian new penal code.”

Paul Linus