It’s 2019 And Being Gay Just Became Punishable By Death In Brunei

“This kind of law doesn’t belong in the 21st century.”


Brunei today introduces strict new Islamic laws that make anal sex and adultery offences worthy of death by stoning.

The penal code, which goes into effect on April 3, 2019, requires death by stoning for extramarital sex, anal sex, and abortion.

It also includes other laws that includes amputation as punishment for theft.

Under the new laws, individuals accused of certain acts will be convicted if they confess or if there were witnesses present.

  • Offences such as rape, adultery, sodomy, robbery and insult or defamation of the Prophet Muhammad will carry the maximum penalty of death.
  • Lesbian sex carries a different penalty of 40 strokes of the cane and/or a maximum of 10 years in jail
  • The punishment for theft is amputation
  • Those who “persuade, tell or encourage” Muslim children under the age of 18 “to accept the teachings of religions other than Islam” are liable to a fine or jail

Individuals who have not reached puberty but are convicted of certain offences may be instead subjected to whipping.

Phil Robertson is the Asia deputy director for Human Rights Watch. He said: “This kind of law doesn’t belong in the 21st century. It’s going to be something that will turn Brunei into a human rights pariah.”

George Clooney and Elton John have called on people to boycott a list of luxury hotels across the U.S. and Europe that are owned by Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei.

Sultan Bolkiah has defended the new laws and has pledged to promote the teachings of Islam.

In a statement released ahead of the changes, Sultan Bolkiah defended his position, saying: “Brunei Darussalam is a sovereign Islamic and fully independent country and, like all other independent countries, enforces its own rule of laws. Brunei Darussalam has always been practising a dual legal system, one that is based on the Syariah Law and the other on Common Law.

“The Syariah Law, apart from criminalizing and deterring acts that are against the teachings of Islam, it also aims to educate, respect and protect the legitimate rights of all individuals, society or nationality of any faiths and race.”

Homosexuality has been illegal in the nation since it was a British colony (it achieved independence in 1984). However, over his years in power, Bolkiah has implemented an increasingly strict interpretation of Sharia law.

Bolkiah first promised the implementation of corporal punishment for same-sex relationships laws back in 2014.


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