MEPs write to Brunei’s Sultan
Today Brunei starts implementing a law that imposes – among other new measures – the death penalty by stoning for same-sex relationships between men.
Brunei introduced a reform of its criminal law based on Sharia law in 2014, to be implemented in 3 stages: the first phase in May 2014; the second was due in 2015; and the third phase was planned for 2016. The two last phases were halted in 2014 – but Brunei just announced it will go ahead and implementing them on 3 April.
Brunei already condemns same-sex sexual activity with prison. With this new law, sodomy between two men and adultery is punished with death penalty with stoning, while sexual relations between two women is to be punished with a fine of up to $40,000, prison up to 10 years and whipping, or a combination of these.
Members of the European Parliament’s cross-party LGBTI issues group write to the Sultan of Brunei to remind him of Brunei’s international human rights commitments.
TO: Haji Sir Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei Darussalam
Concerns: implementation of new criminal law
Brussels, 1 April 2019
Honourable Sultan of Brunei Darussalam,
We were particularly alarmed to hear you decided to hear you will go ahead with the implementation of the last phase of your criminal law reform, due to take place on 3 April.
We were shocked that Brunei would make this decision even though Brunei has committed to a number of international and regional human rights standards. It is Brunei’s responsibility to protect the right to freedom of thought, belief and religion, the right to life and the right to dignity for everyone on its soil. Applying the death penalty to non-believers or same-sex sexual relations is in direct contradiction with these international principles.
We are convinced that religious law, including Sharia law, can be enforced in accordance with international human rights principles. We encourage you to foster political dialogue with key stakeholders in civil society, human rights organisations, faith-based institutions, and business organisations, both inside and outside of Brunei, to ensure that due process and the rule of law are upheld in Brunei, and the right to life is protected.
On behalf of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights,
Terry Reintke MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup
Daniele Viotti MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup
Sophie in’t Veld MEP, Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup
Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup
Sirpa Pietikainen, Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup
Malin Bjork, Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup