World

Brunei To Impose Death Penalty For Gay Sex

Shutterstock

Daily Caller News Foundation logo

The nation of Brunei is set to enact a law on April 3 that makes gay sex or adultery punishable by whipping or stoning to death.

The law is part of several statutes taking effect in the tiny, oil-rich southeast Asian country that will enact Sharia law. The new penal code was formally announced in 2013, but public outcry and protests pushed Brunei to delay its actual enactment until now, according to the New York Times.

“To legalize such cruel and inhuman penalties is appalling of itself,” said Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Brunei researcher at Amnesty International in an interview with the Associated Press. “The international community must urgently condemn Brunei’s move to put these cruel penalties into practice.”

Homosexual activity is currently illegal but only punishable by up to 10 years in jail. But when the new laws take effect, it will be a capital crime, as will adultery, blasphemy, rape and murder. Capital punishments are to be “witnessed by a group of Muslims,” according to the statutes. (RELATED: Texas County Republicans To Vote On Ousting Muslim Vice-Chairman They Claim Prefers Sharia Law)

Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah salutes during a ceremonial guard of honour to mark his 68th birthday celebrations in Bandar Seri Begawan on August 14, 2014. The monarch turned 68 on July 15, but the celebrations were postponed due to the holy month of Ramadan. The sultan is one of the world's longest-reigning monarchs. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah salutes during a ceremonial guard of honour to mark his 68th birthday celebrations in Bandar Seri Begawan on August 14, 2014. The sultan is one of the world’s longest-reigning monarchs. (Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Other new laws include amputation for theft, and fines or jail terms for offenses like skipping Friday prayer or getting pregnant out of wedlock.

Brunei’s sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah, 72, rules with full executive authority and has supported the monarchy’s adoption of a more conservative Islamic culture, including a ban on alcohol sales, according to CNN.

Brunei’s oil reserves made Bolkiah one the world’s richest men, and he is known for an extravagant lifestyle that includes a 1,788-room palace. His assets include the exclusive Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs issued a revised travel advisory Wednesday, warning Australian tourists that the laws also apply to foreigners even when on Brunei registered aircraft and vessels. The U.S. State Department has not announced any revisions to its current advisories for Brunei, which already include “exercising normal precautions,” informing travelers of the unique aspects of Sharia Criminal Code.

Approximately two-thirds of Brunei’s 420,000 citizens are Muslim, with Christians and Buddhists making up most of the remainder, according to the CIA’s World Factbook.

Follow Whitney on Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.