Brunei Set to Install Sharia Law and Punish Gay Sex With Stoning

The change in the Asian country's penal code is set to take effect April 3.

Above: Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei

Advocates are spreading word of Brunei’s plans to implement Sharia law, which would punish gay sex by stoning.

The small Asian nation became the first in the region to put the Muslim religious law into effect, back in 2014. Gay sex is already punishable by up to ten years in prison, but the new laws would add whipping and stoning to the punishments for those found guilty.

While the original intent was to introduce Sharia law in three phases, it never got past stage one, due to international outrage.

sharia law protest
Valerie Macon/WireImage
United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta, Mavis Leno and husband comedian Jay Leno attend the Coalition Of Women’s Rights, LGBT And Human Rights Groups Rally to protest Brunei’s implementation of Sharia law in 2014, in Beverly Hills, California.

Those delayed two stages are both set to take effect on April 3, according to several human rights groups, Reuters reports.

The Brunei Project, ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, and OutRight Action International all confirmed the news.

“We are trying to get pressure placed on the government of Brunei but realize there is a very short time frame until the laws take affect,” said Matthew Woolfe, founder of The Brunei Project. “It took us by surprise that the government has now given a date and is rushing through implementation.”

“It is horrible. Brunei is imitating the most conservative Arab states,” said Indonesian LGBTQ rights activist Dede Oetomo.

There has been no official announcement of the plans to change the country’s penal code, other than a statement posted on the attorney general’s website in late December, which was only recently discovered.

“It all seems to be very hush-hush,” Woolfe told Gay Star News. “I suspect the Brunei Government is trying to fly under the radar with the final implementation.”

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