Newly enacted Islamic laws governing gay sex and adultery in Brunei have sparked international outcry.

The laws, which took effect Wednesday, will allow those convicted of adultery and homosexuality to be stoned to death.

The harsh penalties have been included in the Southeast Asian country's Sharia Penal Code, which was instituted in 2014 by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

The new laws apply to children and foreigners, even if they are not Muslim.  

Under the laws, thieves could have their right hand amputated on their first offense and their left foot on their second.  

The codes are designed to bolster the influence of Islam in the Muslim-majority country of about 430,000 people.

Elton John performs onstage during his "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" final tour at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, in New York.
Rock Superstar Elton John Joins Brunei Hotel Boycott
Rock superstar Elton John is joining actor George Clooney in calling for a worldwide boycott of hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei, who plans to enforce the death penalty for homosexuality this week.Brunei-owned hotels include some of the world most luxurious inns, such as the Beverly Hills Hotel in Hollywood and the Dorchester in London."Discrimination on the basis of sexuality is plain wrong and has no place in my society," John said in a statement. "I believe that love is love, and being able to…

Celebrities such as Elton John, Ellen DeGeneres and George Clooney have denounced the new laws and have helped rally support for a boycott of nine hotels in the United States and Europe with ties to Hassanal.

The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France are continuing to urge the oil-rich country to reverse the enactment of the new laws.

U.S. Secretary of State Deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said Brunei's decision "runs counter to its international human rights obligations" and that the U.S. "strongly opposes violence, criminalization and discrimination targeting vulnerable groups." He called on the country to implement the U.N.'s Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said, "Any religion-based legislation must not violate human rights, including the rights of those belonging to the majority religion as well as of religious minorities and non-believers."

FILE - A general view of Brunei's new Legislative Council Building during its opening in Bandar Seri Begawan, March 4, 2008.
UN Rights Chief Urges Brunei to Scrap New Penal Code
The U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, is urging the government of Brunei to stop its revised penal code from entering into force on Wednesday. Bachelet says the application of the death penalty under the new law, which she calls cruel and inhumane, violates international human rights law.Brunei’s tourist brochures describe the country as a haven of tranquility. That may once have been the case as Brunei, a Muslim monarchy, has not executed anyone since 1957.

Human Rights Watch Deputy Asia Director Phil Robertson also condemned Hassanal's action, saying, "Brunei's new penal code is barbaric to the core, imposing archaic punishments for acts that should not even be crimes."

Amnesty International's Rachel Chhoa-Howard denounced the new laws as "vicious" and called on the global community to condemn them.




Child Marriage