Brunei To Start Stoning Gays To Death Next Week
Brunei has earned the scorn of the United Nations, which has condemned the tiny but rich Islamic nation's decision to institute stoning death penalties starting next week for a variety of its citizens, including its LGBT community.
A statement from the UN issued Tuesday reads:
“Application of the death penalty for such a broad range of offenses contravenes international law,” said Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Rape, adultery, sodomy, extramarital sexual relations for Muslims, insulting any verses of the Quran and Hadith, blasphemy, declaring oneself a prophet or non-Muslim, and murder are the other offences for which the death penalty could be applied under the revised code. Noting that Brunei has maintained an effective moratorium on the use of the death penalty since 1957, OHCHR urged the government to establish a formal moratorium and to work towards abolishing the practice altogether. “Under international law, stoning people to death constitutes torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and is thus clearly prohibited,” Mr Colville stated.
The move toward death by stoning marks a drastic change from Brunei's previous punishment for homosexuality: up to 10 years in prison.