Brunei Defends Anti-Gay ‘Death by Stoning’ Law in Letter to EU

Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei (CC BY 3.0)

Brunei has defended its punishment of death by stoning for gay sex in a letter to the European Parliament. Under Brunei’s new law, adultery is punished similarly, and thieves are punished with amputations.

Wrote the Brunei Mission to the EU in the letter: “The SPCO does not criminalise nor has any intention to victimise a person’s status based on sexual orientation or belief, including same-sex relations. The criminalisation of adultery and sodomy is to safeguard the sanctity of family lineage and marriage of individual Muslims particularly women. The offences, therefore will not apply to non-Muslims unless the act of adultery or sodomy is committed with a Muslim.”

The letter appears to suggest that there’s little chance the death penalties would be carried out because the crimes must have several “extremely difficult to find” witnesses “of high moral standing and piety.”

The letter was sent “ahead of a debate on human rights in the EP in Strasbourg on Thursday” according to EU Observer: “The European Union has said any such punishments violate the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.”

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