Brunei to punish LGBTQ people by stoning them to death
Like something out of a medieval period, the nation of Brunei will be instituting new laws that would condemn LGBTQ people to be stoned to death for same-sex relations.
These new laws would call for Muslims to be whipped or stoned for same-sex relations, adultery, and rape.
The sultanate has already deemed homosexuality as illegal and punishable with up to ten years imprisonment. But with these laws, it would make them the first Asian country to make homosexuality punishable by death.
Brunei’s first batch of harsh laws
Brunei had first introduced the Islamic criminal law in 2014, making them the first East Asia country to use them.
Back then, they imposed fines or jail for offences like pregnancy outside marriage or failing to pray on Friday, the first step in three phases to change their laws.
Because of the international backlash they received on the harshness of the laws, they relented from implementing more changes to their laws.
Despite this previous experience, the government will now implement more stringent laws this April.
This country is a former British protectorate on Borneo island ruled by a sultan and with a population of 40,000. Of this count, 67 percent are Muslims and subject to the Sharia law.
Brunei implementing laws in secret
The Australia-based human rights group, The Brunei Project, urged the international community to apply diplomatic pressure on the small Asian kingdom in changing the Syariah Penal Code (SPC).
The Project warned that most people in Brunei were unaware that the government was secretly planning to fully implement the changes in the laws.
They also pointed out that Brunei is one of the signatories of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment. However, this has not been ratified.
Matthew Woolfe, the founder of the group, told Reuters: “We are trying to get pressure placed on the government of Brunei but realise there is a very short time frame until the laws take affect.”
LGBTQ and rights activists up in arms
Meanwhile, Dede Oetomo, one of Indonesia’s most prominent LGBTQ activists, said: “It is horrible. Brunei is imitating the most conservative Arab states.”
Amnesty International called on Brunei to “immediately halt” in the implementation of the new penalties.
Brunei researcher Rachel Chhoa-Howard said: “Some of the potential ‘offences’ should not even be deemed crimes at all, including consensual sex between adults of the same gender.”
The US-based gay rights group Human Rights Campaign warned the legislation was “state-sponsored torture and murder of LGBTQ people.”