Brunei Imposes Stern New Penal Code, Stoning for Adultery, Gay Sex

Bandar Seri Begawan [Brunei], April 3: Brunei on Wednesday announced to enact a stern new penal code under which adultery and gay sex will be punishable by stoning to death, and amputations as a punishment for theft. According to Al Jazeera, the new law, which has already drawn wide criticism, mostly applies to Muslims, though some aspects of it will also be applied to non-Muslims. It also imposes public flogging as a punishment for abortion. With this new law, Brunei, an absolute monarchy, becomes the first country in East or Southeast Asia to impose this barbaric penal code. The law was first mooted by Brunei's 72-year-old king Hassanal Bolkiah in 2013, but full implementation has been delayed. Brunei has been condemned by various countries and imminent personalities including actor George Clooney and Elton John, for implementing the law. Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for the Human Rights Watch, said the code was "barbaric to the core, imposing archaic punishments for acts that shouldn't even be crimes". Gay Sex and Adultery Will Be Punishable by Stoning to Death, Brunei Announces Draconian Punishment From April 3.

Comprehensive @hrw release on #Brunei's new penal code, and horrific, medieval punishments for vulnerable women, children, #LGBT & others. No place in the 21st century for this kind of law! https://t.co/x0IMB9YQ8u pic.twitter.com/XsOprlXRYr— Phil Robertson (@Reaproy) April 3, 2019.

Countries including the United States, France and Australia have denounced the law within hours of its announcement. "Brunei's decision to implement Phases Two and Three of the Sharia Penal Code and associated penalties runs counter to its international human rights obligations, including with respect to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment," US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino said during a media briefing on April 2. France and Australia also called on Brunei to renounce the measures, with both governments expressing concern.

#BruneiWe are very concerned by the entry in force of a new criminal code on April 3, which provides for corporal punishment and the death penalty for crimes including homosexuality, apostasy, blasphemy, and adultery.https://t.co/jO87CJj4ER pic.twitter.com/yuS2vc040Y— France Diplomacy (@francediplo_EN) April 2, 2019Australia has raised our concerns with the Brunei government on the introduction of the full Syariah Penal Code today. We absolutely oppose the death penalty & are committed to the rights of LGBTI people. We will continue to advocate for human rights in the region & beyond. @dfat— Marise Payne (@MarisePayne) April 3, 2019.

Clooney and John have called for a boycott of hotels owned by Brunei sultanate around the world following the implementation of this law.