Brunei’s Sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah, has extended a moratorium on the death penalty to incoming legislation on punishments for gay sex, after a global backlash led by celebrities such as George Clooney and Elton John. The country provoked an outcry when it rolled out its interpretation of Islamic laws, or sharia, on 3 April, punishing sodomy, adultery and rape with death, including by stoning. Brunei has consistently defended its right to implement the laws, elements of which were first adopted in 2014 and which have been rolled out in phases since then.
A new law which comes into effect from next week will punish homosexual sex and adultery with death in the small southeast Asian kingdom of Brunei. Beginning on April 3, any individuals found guilty of the offenses will be stoned to death, according to a new penal code. The punishment will be “witnessed by a group of Muslims.” The country’s strict new laws were announced in 2014, and have been rolled out gradually. The latest phase of implementation, including the brutal new provisions, was quietly announced on the Brunei attorney general’s website on December 29, 2018.