Gay sex punishable by stoning to death under new law in Brunei

Gay sex punishable by stoning to death under new law in Brunei

Every time society takes two steps forward with progress for the LGBTQ community, something happens to make it take another step back.

Today, Amnesty International announced that "cruel and inhuman punishments" will come into effect in Brunei Darussalam from next week, making same-sex relations liable for punishment by stoning.

"Pending provisions in Brunei’s Penal Code would allow stoning and amputation as punishments – including for children, to name only their most heinous aspects," said Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Brunei Researcher at Amnesty International.

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

Waving rainbow flags Credit: Getty

The new regulations were announced discreetly on the Attorney General's website.

"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," Chhoa-Howard continued. "These abusive provisions received widespread condemnation when plans were first discussed five years ago."

Indeed, Amnesty International has voiced its concerns over Brunei's penal code since it was updated in 2014.

"Brunei’s Penal Code is a deeply flawed piece of legislation containing a range of provisions that violate human rights," Chhoa-Howard stated. "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."

Photo Taken In Brunei, Bandar Seri Begawan Credit: Getty

Brunei has a record of going against human rights legislations as directed by the UN, despite having signed the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. They are currently in breach of this convention, as they still employ corporal and capital punishment in many forms - not just for same-sex relationships, but also for petty crimes such as robbery.

As well as stoning LGBTQ individuals, Brunei plans to implement amputation and whipping as punishments for other so-called crimes and misdemeanours.