George Clooney calls for Brunei hotels boycott

George Clooney boycotts Brunei hotels over anti-LGBT laws

George Clooney boycotts Brunei hotels over anti-LGBT laws

The Gravity actor acknowledged that any boycott would likely have "little effect on changing these laws". "In the onslaught of news where we see the world backsliding into authoritarianism this stands alone", George wrote in an op-ed piece for Deadline.

Clooney, who is also a political activist and one of the most influential names in Hollywood, said he had stayed at numerous hotels himself "because I hadn't done my homework and didn't know who owned them".

The Dorchester Collection is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, which is run by Brunei's ministry of finance. Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle's newsletter.

The announcement, and particularly the targeting of LGBT+ people, has sparked global outrage with politicians and celebrities calling on Brunei to immediately halt its plans.

"I've stayed at many of them, a couple of them recently, because I hadn't done my homework and didn't know who owned them", Clooney wrote.

Among those hotels is the exclusive Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles and The Dorchester in London.

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Beginning on April 3, any individuals found guilty of the offenses will be stoned to death, according to a new penal code. "But you can shame the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them and choose to look the other way", Clooney concluded.

The tiny south-east Asian kingdom of Brunei, which has adopted a more conservative form of Islam in recent years, first announced in 2013 its intention to introduce sharia law, the Islamic legal system that imposes strict corporal punishments.

"We note the new penal code would be in breach of the UN Declaration of Human Rights".

With personal wealth estimated at $20 billion (€17.8 billion), Sultan Bolkiah has been on the Brunei throne since 1967. Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Brunei researcher at Amnesty International, publicly called for the nation to "immediately halt its plans" and for the international community to "urgently condemn Brunei's move to put these cruel penalties into practice".

The United States and Britain updated their travel advisories to caution people about the changes in the Muslim-majority country of 400,000 people where Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has a firm grip on power.

Human rights groups were quick to express horror at the penal code, which also provides for amputation as a punishment for theft.

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