Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

30 April 2014

Brunei Darussalam: Revoke new Penal Code allowing stoning, whipping and amputation

Brunei Darussalam: Revoke new Penal Code allowing stoning, whipping and amputation
Brunei Darussalam's new Penal Code, announced by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, will come into force Thursday.

Brunei Darussalam's new Penal Code, announced by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, will come into force Thursday.

© STR/AFP/Getty Images


Brunei Darussalam’s new Penal Code legalizes cruel and inhuman punishments. It makes a mockery of the country’s international human rights commitments and must be revoked immediately.
Source: 
Rupert Abbott, Deputy Asia-Pacific Director at Amnesty International.

Brunei Darussalam’s shocking new Penal Code will take the country back to the dark ages when it comes to human rights, Amnesty International said.

The new Penal Code, which is due to come into force on 1 May, allows for cruel and inhuman punishments including stoning to death, whipping and amputation.

“Brunei Darussalam’s new Penal Code legalizes cruel and inhuman punishments. It makes a mockery of the country’s international human rights commitments and must be revoked immediately,” said Rupert Abbott, Deputy Asia-Pacific Director at Amnesty International.

The law imposes the death penalty for a range of offences which do not meet the threshold of the “most serious crimes” under international law, including robbery. Defendants who were under 18 years of age when crimes were committed can also be sentenced to death.

“The new code even permits stoning to death for acts which should not be considered ‘crimes’ in the first place, such as extramarital sexual relations and consensual sex between adults of the same gender,” said Rupert Abbott.

The new Penal Code also contains a range of provisions which will restrict the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and which discriminate against women.

The law has received strong criticism from members of the international community, including international human rights organizations and the United Nations. Some LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) groups and others have reacted by boycotting businesses owned by the head of state, the Sultan of Brunei.

Brunei Darussalam’s human rights record will be reviewed by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on 2 May, a day after the Penal Code takes effect.

“UN member states must take this opportunity to push Brunei Darussalam to revoke this shocking Penal Code and ensure that the country’s laws are in strict compliance with international human rights law and standards,” said Rupert Abbott. 

Country

Brunei Darussalam 

Region

Asia And The Pacific 

Issue

Death Penalty 
Discrimination 
Freedom Of Expression 
Human Rights Standards 
International Organizations 
Women 

Follow #Brunei @amnestyonline on twitter

News

28 January 2015

New evidence shows that the Nigerian military were repeatedly warned of impending Boko Haram attacks on Baga and Monguno which claimed hundreds of lives, and failed to... Read more »

22 January 2015

The Attorney General of Mexico has failed to properly investigate all lines of inquiry into allegations of complicity by armed forces and others in authority in the... Read more »

26 January 2015

Tucked in a dark corner of a secret detention centre in The Philippines was a mock-up of the multicolour wheel used in the "Wheel of Fortune". But rather than spinning for... Read more »

20 January 2015

European governments that cooperated with the CIA’s secret detention, interrogation, and torture operations as part of the USA’s global “war on terror” must act urgently... Read more »

28 January 2015

Targeted UN sanctions and accountability are urgently needed to end rampant abductions, torture, summary killings and other abuses by rival forces in Libya.

Read more »