News :: International

Brunei Lawmakers Postpone Violent Anti-Gay Measure

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Wednesday Apr 23, 2014
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Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah  (Source:AP Photo)

Lawmakers from Brunei announced this week that they will postpone implementing a measure that would make it legal to punish those convicted of gay sex by stoning, according to Gay Star News.

The sharia law inspired penal code, would sentence individuals to death by stoning for a number of offenses, including gay sex, adultery, rape and declaring to be non-Muslim. GSN also reports, besides stoning, other punishments include flogging and the severing of limbs under the measure.

The measure was supposed to go into effect on April 22. Assistant Director of Brunei’s Islamic Legal Unit, Jauyah Zaini, reportedly told the Brunei Times the implementation had been delayed "due to unavoidable circumstances."

The United Nations’ human rights office, however, appealed to Brunei to postpone the introduction of the measure.

"Application of the death penalty for such a broad range of offences contravenes international law," Rupert Colville, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said. "Under international law, stoning people to death constitutes torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and is thus clearly prohibited."

Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, is currently on a trip in Singapore, but government officials told the AFP they are waiting for him to return before enacting the code.

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