Brunei introduces sharia laws; makes adultery & homsexuality punishable


  • Brunei today introduced harsh new sharia laws that make adultery and homsexuality punishable by stoning to death.
  • The new measures also cover a range of other crimes, including punishment for theft by amputation, making Brunei the first place in Southeast Asia to have a sharia penal code at the national level.
  • The new law mostly applies to Muslims, though some aspects will also apply to non-Muslims. It stipulates the death penalty for a number of offences, including rape, adultery, sodomy, robbery and insulting or defaming the Prophet Muhammad. It also introduces public flogging as punishment for abortion and criminalises exposing Muslim children to the beliefs and practices of any religion other than Islam.
  • Brunei’s gay community has expressed shock and fear at the ‘medieval punishments’. The decision to push ahead with the punishments has sparked alarm around the world too, with the United Nations labelling them cruel and inhumane.
  • The European Union has also condemned the new laws, saying that some of the punishments now permitted under a sharia penal code amount to torture and breach international human rights agreements.
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