Brunei to punish adultery with death by stoning

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The law has been on hold for four years amid criticism, Channel News Asia reports.

The small Asian sultanate will also apply the Sharia law of amputation of hand and foot for theft starting next Wednesday.

In 2014, Brunei began to implement stricter laws on homosexuality after the country announced the introduction of the Islamic Criminal Law.

The country adopted Sharia law late a year ago and said that it would begin to enforce many harsh punishments, including stoning and amputation, for certain offences.

HONG KONG - When Brunei announced in 2013 that it was bringing in harsh Islamic laws that included punishments of death by stoning for adultery and gay sex, the move was met with worldwide protest.

Brunei has delayed the 3rd stage after it received heavy criticism from the global community who condemned the archaic punishments under the new laws.

Starting next week, adultery and gay sex in Brunei will be punishable by death via stoning. This was brought in gradually with over 3 stages, which include jail time for pregnancy without marriage, fines, and for those people who do not pray during Fridays.

The legal changes were announced in a discreet notice on the attorney general's website, it said.

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What do the new laws say?

"The worldwide community must urgently condemn Brunei's move to put these cruel penalties into practice." . "Some of the potential "offences" should not even be deemed crimes at all, including consensual sex between adults of the same gender", said Rachel Chhoa-Howard.

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.

Dede Oetomo, one of Indonesia's most prominent LGBT+ activists, told Reuters it would be a gross violation of worldwide human rights if the changes went ahead.

The implementation of the law has since been delayed as officials work out the practical details under heavy opposition from rights groups.

But the laws may finally be pushed through - reportedly taking effect from April 3.

Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah (center) visits the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan, on October 4, 2018.

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