Brunei to soon punish gay sex and adultery with death by stoning

New penalties in Brunei that is scheduled to take effect in the southeast Asian nation next week will make homosexual sex and adultery punishable by death by stoning.

Stricter laws around sex were first announced in the nation in 2013, around the time the nation also became the first country in East Asia to adopt sharia law, despite backlash from international human rights groups at the time, according to CNN.

Following widespread condemnation, the nation delayed full enforcement of its harsh proposed laws until recently.

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In December, the country quietly announced in a statement on its attorney general's website that it would be enforcing statutes including stoning and amputation to take effect on April 3. The notice has only received attention recently, as a growing list of human rights groups have been setting off a renewed cry over the penalties as the date approaches.

“Brunei’s Penal Code is a deeply flawed piece of legislation containing a range of provisions that violate human rights,” Rachel Chhoa-Howard, a researcher for Amnesty International, told The New York Times on Thursday.

“As well as imposing cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments, it blatantly restricts the rights to freedom of expression, religion and belief, and codifies discrimination against women and girls,” she continued.

Homosexuality is already punishable by up to 10 years in prison in the small nation. However, if the new laws take effect as scheduled next week, those found guilty could see penalties including whipping and stoning. The penalties would also apply to those found guilty of rape and adultery, according to multiple reports.

The strict set of laws also orders the amputation of hands or feet for crimes like theft.