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UN condemns Brunei’s draconian penal code

The United Nations has condemned Brunei’s new penal code which imposes death by stoning for gay sex, adultery and other offences.

In a statement, the UN high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet said, “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 protection for the people of Brunei if implemented.”

Photograph: UN News

Bachelet urged “Brunei to maintain its de facto moratorium on the use of capital punishment,” in her statement.

The proposed changes to the penal code incorporate punishments under a strict interpretation of Islamic law. It stipulates the death penalty for a number of offences, including rape, sodomy, robbery and insulting or defaming the prophet Muhammad.

The law also proposes public caning as punishment for abortion and amputation for theft. Other changes include making it a criminal offence to expose Muslim children to the beliefs and practices of any religion other than Islam.

Brunei announced that it will implement the penal code from tomorrow having delayed its implementation since 2013 due to backlash from rights groups.

Read more here and here