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Amputation for thieves and stoning for gays: Brunei starts masterplan tomorrow

As of 1 May 2014, the state of Brunei will launch a severe three-year Islamic penal code, punishing crimes of theft with amputations and same-sex acts with death by stoning

Starting tomorrow (1 May) Brunei starts an alarming masterplan to implement Islamic Sharia law that will eventually see gay people stoned to death.

The implementation on the penal code had been postponed from 22 April ‘due to unavoidable circumstances,’ according to a government official, but the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah has made a statement saying he will enforce the law starting tomorrow.

AFP news reported him saying: ‘Today... I place my faith in and am grateful to Allah the almighty to announce that tomorrow, Thursday 1 May 2014, will see the enforcement of Sharia law phase one, to be followed by the other phases.'

The Brunei Times reported the three phases over the course of the next three years will include:

  • Fines and prison sentences for various crimes during the first phase
  • Amputations for stealing during the second phase
  • Death by stoning for sexual crimes like adultery, rape and gay sex during the third phase

The entire penal code covers 'theft, illicit sexual relations, making unproven accusations of illicit sex, causing physical hurt, drinking intoxicants, apostasy, and acts contrary to Islamic beliefs.'

According to the Brunei Times: ‘The law states that the Order shall apply to both Muslims and non-Muslims, except where expressly provided.’

The Sultan announced: 'This Act without doubt, is now part of the great history of our nation,' according to Brunei Times.

The upcoming laws have drawn international criticism from activists, celebrities and human rights organizations.

In recent weeks gay and lesbian A-list celebrities including Ellen Degeneres and Stephen Fry joined with very public boycotts of the Dorchester Hotel Group, owned by the Sultan of Brunei.

A Dorchester spokesperson responded to the protests in a statement: 'We continue to abide by the laws of the countries we operate in and do not tolerate any form of discrimination of any kind. The laws that exist in other countries outside of where Dorchester Collection operates do not affect the policies that govern how we run our hotels.'

International human rights groups have also called for Brunei to retract these laws.

‘Application of the death penalty for such a broad range of offences contravenes international law,’ said Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

‘We urge the Government to delay the entry into force of the revised penal code and to conduct a comprehensive review ensuring its compliance with international human rights standards.’

He added: ‘Under international law, stoning people to death constitutes torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and is thus clearly prohibited.’

Amnesty Deputy Asia-Pacific Director Rupert Abbott said: 'Brunei’s new Penal Code legalizes cruel and inhuman punishments. It makes a mockery of the country’s international human rights commitments and must be revoked immediately.

'The new code even permits stoning to death for acts which should not be considered "crimes" in the first place, such as extramarital sexual relations and consensual sex between adults of the same gender.'

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