Brunei on Wednesday implemented new laws including one that makes gay sex and adultery crimes punishable by stoning to death, reports said. The new laws, introduced in the Muslim-majority country, also cover several other crimes including punishment for theft by amputation.
The United Nations, United States and several public personalities including actor George Clooney condemned the new laws issued by the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah-led government. “I want to see Islamic teachings in this country grow stronger,” AFP quoted Bolkiah as saying.
The nation, home to around 4.5 lakh people, already prohibits homosexuality and penalises those found guilty of it with up to 10 years in prison. The nation was a British protectorate on the island of Borneo.
The United Nations described the new laws as cruel and inhuman. “I appeal to the government to stop the entry into force of this draconian new penal code, which would mark a serious setback for human rights protections for the people of Brunei if implemented,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said in a statement.