Amnesty slams Brunei's new 'vicious' Islamic criminal laws

Bolkiah attends the retreat session during the APEC Summit in Port Moresby Papua New Guinea

Bolkiah attends the retreat session during the APEC Summit in Port Moresby Papua New Guinea

The "human rights defenders" in Washington, however, are silent. Bolkiah has ruled since 1967 and presented the introduction of sharia, a first for a southeast Asian nation, as a major accomplishment of his rule and for the country's history. Under the brutal laws, adultery and same-sex relationships will be punished with stoning; meanwhile, thieves will be punished with amputation of hands or feet-including children. This is one of the many new controversial laws under the stricter Syariah law that was on hold for the past four years. The heinous law comes from a government that has officially adopted Islamic law.

"Only after the event we will know regarding the date of the implementation of the new laws", he said on Wednesday. Previously, under secular law homosexuality was illegal and punishable by 10 years in prison.

Ryan Silverio, from the ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, a group of the human rights that is based in the Manila, Philippines said that the new laws are too severe and are a threat to the lives of the innocent people of Brunei.

"To legalize such cruel and inhuman penalties is appalling of itself", Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Brunei researcher at Amnesty International, told the Associated Press, adding that some of the offenses "should not even be deemed crimes at all, including consensual sex between adults of the same gender".

However, the United States has so far stayed conspicuously silent on the issue.

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.

And neither did London, which also enjoys "close ties" with its former protectorate.

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Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said, "The decision to implement the (penal code) is not for fun but is to obey Allah's command as written in the Quran".

What would be the greatest form of punishment if a man or a woman is caught engaging in adultery?

However, such a situation would probably surprise no one.

Having an affair can earn you a death sentence by stoning in Brunei, Asia.

In theory, Iran-style crippling sanctions of its exports would swiftly change the mind of the Brunei government on whether stoning gays is a good idea.

It also rejected recommendations to this effect in its human rights review at the United Nations in 2014.

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