Brunei and same-sex persecution

News comment on the decision by Brunei, to implement laws that punish homosexuality with death by stoning. Brunei has a dual legal system, based on Sharia (Islamic law) and common law

The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah:

“Both systems will continue to run in parallel to maintain peace and order and preserve religion, life, family and individuals regardless of gender, nationality, race and faith. The [Sharia] law, apart from criminalising and deterring acts that are against the teachings of Islam . . . also aims to educate, respect and protect the legitimate rights of all individuals, society or nationality of any faiths and race.”

The United Nations secretary-general, Antonio Guterres:

“Human rights are to be upheld in relation to every person everywhere without any kind of discrimination.”

Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights:

“Any religion-based legislation must not violate human rights, including the rights of those belonging to the majority religion, as well as of religious minorities and non-believers. It is vital that the government, religious authorities and a wide range of civil society actors work jointly to uphold human dignity and equality for all. “

Stephen Cockburn, deputy director of global issues at Amnesty International:

“We are alarmed that the code criminalises behaviour that should not be considered crimes at all. The international community must continue to condemn Brunei’s decision to put these cruel penalties into practice.”

See fact sheet