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Updated on: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 08:20 PM IST

No capital punishment for gay sex, adultery in Brunei

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Bandar Seri Begawan: Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei on Sunday said that the country will not impose death penalty on those convicted of gay sex and adultery in an apparent bid to temper global backlash following its rollout of strict new Islamic laws last month. The Sultan, in a televised speech, said he would extend a moratorium on capital punishment and ratify the United Nations Convention Against Torture, CNN reported.

In April, the tiny oil-rich country in East Asia announced to enact a stern new penal code under which adultery and gay sex will be punishable by stoning to death, and theft will be punished with amputations. The announcement followed widespread international condemnation and a high profile campaign, whereby celebrities, including George Clooney and Elton John, joined rights groups in seeking to boycott hotels owned by the sultan, while large companies including JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank told their staff to avoid using Brunei-owned hotels in the wake of new laws.

Brunei became the first East Asian country to introduce Sharia law at a national level in 2014, introducing the legislation and associated penalties in stages. The country initially defended its new legal code, claiming it focused “more on prevention and punishment,” but the growing backlash appears to have forced the kingdom’s hand. In his speech, the Sultan said there had been a number of “misconceptions” about the laws which he acknowledged may have caused “apprehension”.

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Published on: Tuesday, May 07, 2019, 05:51 AM IST
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