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Brunei to implement death penalty for gay sex

Photo credit:
Wikimedia Commons

The tiny nation of Brunei is being accused of human rights violations by Amnesty International for criminal laws that will go into effect on April 3.

The laws would mean that citizens caught having gay sex could be put to death by way of stoning. Thieves would suffer amputation if caught. These laws would also apply to children. 

“Brunei must immediately halt its plans to implement these vicious punishments, and revise its Penal Code in compliance with its human rights obligations," said Amnesty International on their website. "The international community must urgently condemn Brunei’s move to put these cruel penalties into practice.”

These new codes are a part of the Brunei Darussalam Syariah Penal Code in which the first phase took effect in 2014. These updates will add to that mandate early next month.

“To legalize such cruel and inhuman penalties is appalling of itself. Some of the potential ‘offences’ should not even be deemed crimes at all, including consensual sex between adults of the same gender,” said Rachel Chhoa-Howard. “These abusive provisions received widespread condemnation when plans were first discussed five years ago.”

Chhoa-Howard says these new laws are deeply flawed and contain a range of provisions that violate human rights, “As well as imposing cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments, it blatantly restricts the rights to freedom of expression, religion, and belief, and codifies discrimination against women and girls," she adds.

Citizens have not criticized the severity of these decrees publically and don't normally vocalize their disagreements to Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

Amnesty International says even though Brunei has yet to endorse any kind of human rights order, they are still expected to comply. 

"Acts of torture and other ill-treatment are absolutely proscribed in the main international human rights instruments, most of which Brunei has not signed or ratified. In addition, this prohibition is also recognized as a peremptory rule of customary international law, meaning that every state is bound by it even if they are not party to a relevant human rights treaty. All acts of torture constitute crimes under international law."