Brunei: Gay Sex And Adultery Punishable By Death

New laws being implemented in Brunei are making gay sex and adultery offences punishable by death. The new laws come into effect April 3, according to a notice posted to the Brunei attorney general’s website on Dec. 29. News of the implementation of the new laws has unleashed a wave of international condemnation.

The strict set of new laws was announced in 2014 by the country’s sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah, who has been on the throne since 1967. Sultan Bolkiah is one of the world’s wealthiest leaders, with an estimated fortune of about $20 billion. Bolkiah also acts as the country’s prime minister. The laws have been rolled out slowly since the announcement.

Under the sultan, the country has grown increasingly conservative. The small Southeast Asian kingdom was the first in country its region to adapt Islamic sharia law. Over the past few years, new laws have banned alcohol and resulted in women being fined or sent to jail for having children out of wedlock.

Homosexuality has been illegal in Brunei since the country was a British colony, with violators facing a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. The new law makes it not just illegal but also punishable by death, along with extramarital affairs and rape. After the new laws take effect, those found guilty could see penalties including whipping and stoning. The strict set of laws also orders the amputation of hands or feet for crimes like theft.

Brunei is home to roughly 430,000 people. Muslim citizens make up roughly two-thirds of Brunei’s population.



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