Brunei Enacts Strict Islamic Laws to Stone People to Death for Gay Sex and Adultery

Brunei Enacts Strict Islamic Laws to Stone People to Death for Gay Sex and Adultery

Brunei is enacting new strict Islamic laws that will punish anyone convicted of having gay sex or adultery with death, CNN reports.

Brunei, which became the first East Asian county to implement Sharia law nationally in 2014, will now stone people convicted of homosexuality and adultery to death.

Under the new law, sex between two men and adultery will be punished by stoning to death while sex between two women will be punished with 100 lashes. The laws also call for imprisonment for anyone who dresses as a different gender.

The new laws also make crimes like stealing punishable by amputation of limbs.

“Brunei, an oil-rich former British protectorate with a population of around 450,000, is ruled by the all powerful Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, who also acts as prime minister,” CNN reported. “The 72-year-old sultan is believed to be among the region's richest people, thanks to Brunei's oil industry. In announcing the introduction of the new laws, the government's website quoted him as saying that his government ‘does not expect other people to accept and agree with it, but that it would suffice if they just respect the nation in the same way that it also respects them.’”

Watchdogs condemn new laws:

Human Rights Watch called the new laws “barbaric to the core” and called on the government to "immediately suspend amputations, stoning, and all other rights-abusing provisions and punishments."

The US State Department said in a statement that the laws violate international human rights laws, "including with respect to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

Brunei rejected the condemnations and is expected to begin implementing the new punishments.

"Brunei Darussalam is a sovereign Islamic and fully independent country and, like all other independent countries, enforces its own rule of law," the government said in a statement.

Hollywood calls for boycotts:

Actor George Clooney called for a boycott of nine hotels linked to the Brunei Government that are based in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy.

“Brunei is a Monarchy and certainly any boycott would have little effect on changing these laws,” Clooney wrote in an op-ed at Deadline. “But are we really going to help pay for these human rights violations? Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens? I’ve learned over years of dealing with murderous regimes that you can’t shame them. But you can shame the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them and choose to look the other way.”

Daytime TV host Ellen DeGeneres joined the call Tuesday.

“Tomorrow, the country of #Brunei will start stoning gay people to death,” she wrote. “We need to do something now. Please boycott these hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Raise your voices now. Spread the word. Rise up.”

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