Brunei’s Anti-Gay Penal Code to Go Into Effect
Brunei’s new Islamic penal code, which punishes same-sex acts with death by stoning, is set to go into effect May 1, Gay Star News reports.
It was reported last week that controversial Islamic Sharia law, which will sentence individuals to death by stoning for a number of offenses, including gay sex, adultery, rape and declaring to be non-Muslim, was postponed on April 22 "due to unavoidable circumstances," according to Assistant Director of Brunei’s Islamic Legal Unit, Jauyah Zaini.
The southeast Asia country’s sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah, made a statement that the law will go into effect starting Thursday, however.
"With faith and gratitude to Allah the almighty, I declare that tomorrow, Thursday May 1, 2014, will see the enforcement of sharia law phase one, to be followed by the other phases," Bolkiah said, according to the AFP.
"This Act without doubt, is now part of the great history of our nation," he added, as reported by the Brunei Times.
The law will be enforced in three phases over the next few years years, the AFP reports.
During the first phase, a number of offenses, including indecent behavior, failure to attend Friday prayers and out-of-wedlock pregnancies, will be covered by the law. Those who break the code will face fines and jail terms. The second phase, which covers crimes like theft and robbery, will start later this year and carry stronger penalties, like amputation and flogging.