Brunei to enforce gay sex and adultery stoning law from today despite protest

Brunei to enforce gay sex and adultery stoning law from today despite protest
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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Brunei imposition of harsh sharia laws which will punish homosexual sex and adultery with death by stoning under a new law is a bid by the country’s ruler to boost support among conservatives and highlights a steady drift away from the West, observers say.

After years of delays, the tough punishments will come into force on Wednesday which also includes amputation of a hand and foot for theft. The decision to move ahead with the laws has sparked a global outcry, with the United Nations branding them “cruel and inhumane.”

Richard Grenell, U.S. ambassador to Germany, who became the first openly gay spokesperson for a Republican presidential candidate in 2012 too to Twitter and said: “This new law violates the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It should be widely condemned.”

This makes the country first in East or Southeast Asia to introduce a sharia penal code on a national level.

The new penal code was announced by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, who also acts as the country’s Prime Minister. Experts say it is hard to gauge the level of public backing for sharia law in Brunei, as most citizens would not publicly voice criticism of the sultan.

There was an international outcry when Brunei became the first country in the region to adopt sharia law in 2014, an Islamic legal system that outlines strict corporal punishments.

The country’s strict new laws were announced in 2014, and have been rolled out gradually. The brutal new provisions were quietly announced on the Brunei attorney general’s website on December 29, 2018.