Brunei Defends New Laws Which Punish Gay Sex With Death

24 April 2019, 10:31 | Updated: 24 April 2019, 10:49

The new laws sparked protests across the globe.
The new laws sparked protests across the globe. Picture: PA

Brunei has written to the European Parliament to defend laws which will mean the death penalty as punishment for gay sex.

In a message to European politicians the Southeast Asian kingdom called for "tolerance and respect" of its sovereignty and values.

"The criminalisation of adultery and sodomy is to safeguard the sanctity of family lineage and marriage of individual Muslims, particularly women," it said.

The letter to MEPs said: “The penal sentences of hadd – stoning to death and amputation – imposed for offences of theft, robbery, adultery and sodomy have extremely high evidentiary threshold, requiring no less than two or four men of high moral standing and piety as witnesses, to the exclusion of every form of circumstantial evidence.”

The European Parliament has called on the EU to consider asset freezes, visa bans and the blacklisting of nine hotels owned by Brunei Investment Agency.

Homosexuality was already illegal in Brunei and punishable by up to 10 years in prison but caused international condemnation earlier this month when it brought in new sharia laws.

The new laws mean the death penalty will be imposed for 'blasphemy' or 'heresy against Islam'.

Those caught engaging in lesbian sex will be punished by forty lashes, while thieves will have their right hand chopped off. Repeat offenders will then lose a foot.

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