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'Appalling': Brunei to impose death by stoning for gay sex and adultery

The new law is due to come into effect next Wednesday.

Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah
Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah
Image: ABACA/PA Images

ADULTERY AND GAY sex in Brunei in Southeast Asia will be subject to death by stoning from next week, authorities have said.

Rights groups have reacted in horror to the latest hardline move from the resource-rich nation on Borneo. 

The country practises a stricter brand of Islam than its neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia and is imposing the new law under a strict Sharia law that has been on hold for four years amid heavy criticism.

Brunei will implement the harsh new penal code – which also prescribes amputation of a hand and foot for theft – next Wednesday.

Homosexuality is already illegal in Brunei but it will now become a capital offence. The law only applies to Muslims. 

The new penalty for theft is amputation of the right hand for a first offence, and the left foot for a second offence. 

Amnesty International Wednesday urged Brunei to “immediately halt” implementing the new penalties.

“To legalise such cruel and inhuman penalties is appalling of itself,” Brunei researcher Rachel Chhoa-Howard said in a statement.

“Some of the potential ‘offences’ should not even be deemed crimes at all, including consensual sex between adults of the same gender.”

A notice on Brunei’s Attorney General’s Chambers dated 29 December 2018 said the provisions will take effect on 3 April. 

Brunei first announced the measures in 2013 but implementation has been delayed as officials worked out the practical details and in the teeth of opposition by rights groups. 

Under a shift towards hardline Islamic law, Brunei banned excessive Christmas celebrations in 2015 for fear that Muslims could be led astray.

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