After international protests Brunei does not want to implement the death penalty against homosexuals. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah announced. A „de facto moratorium“ also applies to judgments against homosexuals.
The sultanate Brunei wants to refuse after international protests to enforce the death penalty against homosexuals. This was announced by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in a speech at the beginning of the Islamic month of fasting Ramadan. The „de facto moratorium“, which has been in place for more than two decades, not to execute death sentences, also applies to judgments against homosexuals. He also spoke of „misunderstandings“.
Death penalty by stoning
At the beginning of April, harder penal laws came into force in the sultanate on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo. Homosexuals faced the death penalty by stoning. The basis for this is the Sharia, which regulates the religious and legal norms in Islam.
Internationally, there were many protests, led by Hollywood star George Clooney. He called for boycotting hotels owned by the sultan. He is one of the richest monarchs in the world.
Gays and lesbians are suppressed
In the sultanate, two-thirds of the more than 420,000 Muslims are Muslims. For some time conservative Islamic forces have been on the rise there. The authoritarian ruling Sultan had started in 2014 to introduce Sharia law. Gays and lesbians have long been oppressed in the former British colony. So far, homosexual relationships have been up to ten years in prison.
Letter to EU: „Tolerance, respect and understanding“
Just two weeks ago, Brunei had defended the internationally heavily criticized introduction of the death penalty against homosexuals in a letter to the European Parliament. The Guardian cited from the sultan’s letter that stoning as a punishment for same-sex sex would be rare, since two men of „high moral rank and piety“ were required as witnesses. In view of the country’s desire to preserve its traditional values and its „family line“, it demands „tolerance, respect and understanding“.