Showing posts with label Brunei. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brunei. Show all posts

May 7, 2019

Brunei Feeling The World Pressure Backs Down on Death To Gays But it Still Could Be Imposed


Brunei has backtracked on enforcing laws introduced last month that would have made sex between men and adultery punishable by stoning to death.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on Sunday extended a moratorium on the death penalty to cover the new legislation. 
The rethink follows a global outcry over the laws, including boycotts and celebrity protests.
While still on the statute books for some crimes, no executions have been carried out in Brunei since 1957. 
Last month Brunei rolled out a strict new interpretation of Islamic laws or Sharia. 
In a speech, the sultan said he was aware there had been "many questions and misperceptions" regarding the implementation of the legislation, called Syariah Penal Code Order (SPCO).
While saying that a moratorium on the death penalty would be applied to the SPCO he also defended the new rules, saying their "merit" would become clear.
The speech marks the first time the country's ruler has spoken publicly about the legislation since their introduction. 
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said she was "delighted the death penalty has been removed and that the de facto moratorium which has been in place for more than two decades, will also cover the SPCO".
Homosexuality was already illegal in Brunei and punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Muslims make up about two-thirds of the country's population of 420,000. 

What are the laws?

The small South-East Asian nation first introduced Sharia law in 2014, giving it a dual legal system with both Sharia and Common Law. 
The first phase covered crimes punishable by prison sentences and fines. 

Media caption"As a kid... we were taught the stones should not be too big"

The laws introduced on 3 April marked the next phase of the legislation, and covered crimes punishable by amputation and stoning.
Under the legislation: 
  • Offenses such as rape, adultery, sodomy, robbery and insult or defamation of the Prophet Muhammad carry the maximum penalty of death
  • Lesbian sex carries a different penalty of 40 strokes of the cane and/or a maximum of 10 years in jail
  • The punishment for theft is amputation
  • Those who "persuade, tell or encourage" Muslim children under the age of 18 "to accept the teachings of religions other than Islam" are liable to a fine or jail
  • Individuals who have not reached puberty but are convicted of certain offenses may be instead subjected to whipping.

What was the reaction?

The laws sparked international outrage, throwing the tiny South-East Asian nation into the global spotlight. 
Ahead of their implementation, the UN warned that the laws contravened international human rights standards set out in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights - which was ratified by Brunei in 2006.
Celebrities including George Clooney and Elton John called for a boycott of luxury hotels with links to Brunei over the legislation.
Mr Clooney said the new laws amounted to "human rights violations".
Many in Brunei's gay community expressed shock and fear at the punishments.

May 2, 2019

Brunei 'Kill The Gays Law’ Backlash with Boycott of Hotels and Banks

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (Space Cadet~As per AF) and Queen Saleha ride in a royal chariot during a procession to mark his golden jubilee of accession to the throne in Bandar Seri Begawan, Oct. 5, 2017. Photo: Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images
International Buss Times                  

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the largest bank in the United States, has joined a rapidly growing number of banks and other business firms boycotting nine international hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah.

Bolkiah wholeheartedly approved a new Shariah-inspired penal code that sentences people convicted of gay sex or adultery to death by stoning.
J.P. Morgan, The Goldman Sachs Group, Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, CitiGroup, Jefferies, Morgan Stanley and Nomura, among other banks have forbidden their employees from staying at hotels owned by the sultan of Brunei while traveling for business. 

Bolkiah controls the Dorchester Collection hotel group based in London. These luxury hotels that are part of Dorchester consist of The Dorchester (London), The Beverly Hills Hotel (Beverly Hills), Plaza Athénée (Paris), Hotel Meurice (Paris), Principe di Savoia (Milan), Hotel Bel-Air (Los Angeles), Coworth Park (southwest of London), 45 Park Lane (London) and Hotel Eden.
Bolkiah has come out publicly to champion and praise the harsh law, which came into full effect last April 3. The law metes out death to both citizens and non-citizens of Brunei, a tiny but oil rich country on the island of Borneo. Those found guilty of offenses under the code will be stoned to death, "witnessed by a group of Muslims."

Brunei’s Shariah-inspired penal code was rolled out in three stages starting May 1, 2014.
"Today...I place my faith in and am grateful to Allah the almighty to announce that tomorrow, Thursday 1 May 2014, will see the enforcement of Sharia law phase one, to be followed by the other phases,” announced Bolkiah on April 30, 2014.

The United Nations immediately voiced "deep concern" about the planned change to the old penal code. It urged Brunei to delay the changes so they could be reviewed to make sure they complied with international human rights standards.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called the new Shariah-inspired laws cruel and inhumane punishments that breach international human rights laws.

Popular English singer and composer Sir Elton John immediately slammed the law after it came into full effect, and called for a worldwide boycott of hotels owned by Bolkiah. His call has since been taken up by other celebrities such as actor George Clooney, comedian Ellen DeGeneres, and tennis star Billie Jean King.

"Every single time we stay at, or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery,” said Clooney.

He also said while you can’t shame “murderous regimes,” you can “shame the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them and choose to look the other way.”
"We need to do something now," DeGeneres wrote on Instagram. "Raise your voices now. Spread the word. Rise up."

April 28, 2019

Brunei Gets Most of Its Oil from Shell Who Backs LGBT~~What is Shell Going To Do With Gay Killing Brunei?


London (CNN Business)Royal Dutch Shell's stand on LGBT rights has come under scrutiny following the introduction of laws that punish gay sex with death in Brunei.

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant is the largest foreign business operating in the small southeast Asian kingdom, which brought in laws earlier this month that make gay sex and adultery punishable by stoning.
Shell has long been a champion of LGBT rights, and some shareholders are now voicing concerns about how the laws will affect its 3,500 employees in Brunei.

More companies boycott Brunei over anti-gay laws

Eumedion, an organization that represents Dutch institutional investors, said it would raise the issue during its next regular meeting with Shell's leadership.

The move was first reported by the Financial Times.
Shell operates a joint venture with Brunei's government that generates 90% of the country's oil and gas revenue. It's the most important company in a country where 61% of GDP comes from the oil and gas sector.

The new laws run counter to corporate policies at Shell that are strongly protective of the rights of LGBT employees.

The company has robust diversity and inclusion programs. It sponsors gay pride events in cities around the world, has long-standing LGBT employee support networks and regularly flies rainbow flags in its offices.

It's also a corporate partner of the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for LGBT rights. The group has described the Brunei laws as "state-sponsored torture and murder of LGBTQ people."
Eumedion said that the shareholders it represents are concerned that Shell's diversity policies might be compromised.

"It is expected from the company that they live up to their policies on inclusion and LGBT-equality, wherever they have operations," Eumedion said in a statement sent to CNN Business.
A source with knowledge of the situation said that while Eumedion is concerned about the welfare of Shell employees, it does not expect the company to publicly lobby against Brunei's laws.

The goal of raising the issue with Shell management is to "protect the company's human capital," the source added.

Shell said in a statement that "our core value of respect for people means that we respect all people, irrespective of gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation and all the things that make people different."

Is the sultan of Brunei imposing Sharia law to clean up his family's image?
Shell (RDSA) is not the only company facing scrutiny over Brunei.

A number of celebrities and businesses, including Deutsche Bank (DB) and Richard Branson, announced earlier this month they'd boycott the Dorchester Collection, a luxury hotel chain 
owned by the Sultan of Brunei.

STA Travel, which focuses on travel for students and young people, stopped selling flights on Brunei's national carrier, Royal Brunei Airlines, "in protest at recent changes to the law."

April 19, 2019

Brunei to Europe (Not US, They Know Trump Feelings) Not To Worry We Wont Stone Too Many Gays To Death

If a law described by the international community as "appalling" is passed but rarely enforced, is it still appalling?
Brunei, the Southeast Asian nation that recently implemented just such a law, is evidently hoping that the answer to that will somehow be no.
Earlier this month, gay sex and adultery became punishable by death by stoning in Brunei, a small but oil-rich state with a Muslim majority on the island of Borneo.
Homosexuality has been illegal in Brunei since it was a British colony, but the new laws made it - and extramarital affairs - punishable by gruesome death. 
This week, Brunei made the case to the European Union that it shouldn't worry about death by stoning because such punishments would be quite rare.
In a letter and memo sent ahead of a European Parliament meeting on human rights, the Brunei mission wrote:
"The penal sentences for 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, coupled with very high standard of proof of 'no doubt at all,' which goes further than the common law standard of 'beyond reasonable doubt.' The standards of piety of the male witnesses is extremely high that it is extremely difficult to find one in this day and age, to the extent that convictions of hadd may solely rest on confessions of the offender."
Another mitigating factor presented by Brunei: The lesser punishment of whipping can be carried out only by people of the same gender.
The European Union is unlikely to be sympathetic. It has noted that such punishments - no matter who carries them out - violate the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which Brunei signed in 2015.
What's more, the EU isn't the only European institution that has expressed concern over Brunei's new laws. Today, Aberdeen University in Scotland revoked the Sultan's honorary degree over the measures. 
"The University of Aberdeen is proud of our foundational purpose of being open to all and dedicated to the pursuit of truth in the service of others. The introduction by the Sultan of the new Penal Code is contrary to our strong commitment to the value of diversity and inclusion," said university principal George Boyne.
A variety of companies, from a British TV awards show to the Financial Times, have also joined a boycott of hotels owned by Brunei, heeding a call from, among others, George Clooney. He said in late March, "Every single time we stay at, or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels, we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery."

April 10, 2019

Blogger Perez Hilton Has Been SlammedFor Outing The Son Of Brunei Sultan as Gay~~I think That is News!

For The First Time I will Post a Page from Perez Hilton on my blog. The reason is simply because we blog about different stories and events. But on this particular one Iam with him. When hippocrazy from someone wanting to make some part of the population happy by giving them Gay blood then all bets are off. If you happen to be related to this little and not too smart pompous Sultan and you are gay, you need to come out or someone needs to out you. Outing is very tricky and it belongs to the person who is gay but when you have murder, killing of people for whom they have the genes and the blood runs in your family, this changes everything.
Adam Gonzalez

Perez Hilton slammed for outing Sultan of Brunei's son as gay after country announces death penalty for homosexuality

While the blogger said he revealed Prince Azim's sexuality to point out the hypocrisy of the Sultan's new law, many claimed the revelation has put the prince's life in danger

                            Perez Hilton slammed for outing Sultan of Brunei's son as gay after country announces death penalty for homosexuality
American blogger Perez Hilton has been slammed for outing the Sultan of Brunei's son -- who is the fourth in line to the throne -- as a gay man, shortly after the country enacted a version of  Shariah law, under which those found guilty of homosexuality would be stoned to death. 
Hilton posted a video on YouTube where he alleged that the Sultan's son, Prince Azim,  is "a big old homo". The young prince has often been seen partying with queer celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner and Gus Kenworthy.
In the YouTube video, Perez was heard saying, "Y’all know I don’t out people anymore. I used to do that back in the day but I’m making an exception here. I’m guessing the Sultan of Brunei doesn’t know that his son, Prince Azim, is a big old homo. I would know because I have spent time with Prince Azim. It’s so hypocritical this guy’s son is a big flamer, and now he’s enacted a law to stone to death gay men."  
 Now Hilton is being called out and slammed across social media platforms for his insensitive post, with many saying that he has endangered Azim's life with his revelation. 
One angry user wrote, "Do u even understand the repercussions of your idiotic post @ThePerezHilton? U quite possibly could be the cause of this man's life. This isn't a joke and outing him doesn't help the situation. It makes it worse. Especially for the son of the Sultan. You're a father for god's sake."
Another user added, "Outing someone is never ok. Outing someone because of your interpretation of a law of a foreign country that could cause their death? Irresponsible and cruel. Set a better example for your children."  

Prince Azim has often been seen partying with queer celebrities (Source: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
 A third social media user shared, "You just don’t get it. Family honor is a thing. He may die for dishonoring the family. Not for being gay. You talk the law like they care about the law and will interpret it as you would. Ask kashogghi about the law."
Another outraged user wrote, "You are broken and sad and sick. You have allowed your personal demons to overshadow common sense and human decency. You have become the very thing you claimed to despise."
Hilton defended himself against the backlash, saying, "The law in Brunei is not that it’s illegal to be gay. It’s illegal to have gay sex. There’s a huge difference. You won’t be stoned just for being queer. And to be stoned there needs to be proof that gay sex happened. There must be witnesses. So, he won’t die. No one will." 
 The country implemented a version of Sharia law on April 3 under which all those who were found guilty of male and female homosexuality or adultery would be stoned to death. These new laws apply to children as well as foreigners, even if they are non-Muslim. The law was met with severe backlash from across the world with people calling for the boycott of the Sultan's chain of luxury hotels and airline. 

Perez Hilton slammed for outing the Sultan of Brunei's son Prince Azim (Source: Getty Images

April 6, 2019

Brunei Bringing Back a Law to kill Gays and Started a New Tourist Campaign to Entice Visitors

“The abode of peace beckons”. So says the promotional literature. But Brunei’s latest tourism tagline jars somewhat with the reality on the ground: yesterday the country introduced death by stoning for people found guilty of homosexuality and adultery. 
Brunei’s new penal code, which punishes thieves by amputating their limbs, has been widely condemned by human rights groups, and Hollywood stars such as George Clooney, who has called for a boycott of hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei; a property portfolio that includes London’s Dorchester.
“Brunei’s new penal code is barbaric to the core, imposing archaic punishments for acts that shouldn’t even be crimes,” said Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch’s deputy Asia director. “Sultan Hassanal should immediately suspend amputations, stoning, and all other rights-abusing provisions and punishments.”
Under the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT), “cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishments” are forbidden. Brunei has signed, but not ratified, the convention and is not alone in enforcing a strict interpretation of Sharia law. Corporal punishment is also carried out in the Maldives, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), among other places.

The Sultan of Brunei has drawn criticism from human rights groups
The Sultan of Brunei has drawn criticism from human rights groups CREDIT: AFP
As per the aforementioned destinations, Brunei finds itself in the position of implementing a draconian penal code while trying to court international tourists. With an economy heavily reliant on oil – a commodity incompatible with global commitments to reduce CO2 emissions – Brunei is maneuvering to plug the anticipated gap in crude revenue by tapping into its underexploited potential as a holiday destination.
Currently, only around a quarter of a million tourists visit the country annually – Singapore, by contrast, which sits just across the South China Sea, receives more than that in a week. But the sultanate has ambitions to change that and by 2021 it aims to welcome half a million visitors annually.
To help entice more tourists, the state-owned carrier, Royal Brunei Airlines, recruited M&C Saatchi to devise a clever digital marketing campaign.n“Royal Brunei Airlines intends to grow revenues by increasing overall tourism inflow into Brunei,” explains M&C Saatchi on its website. “The objective is to get more people to plan a Brunei holiday, and choose to fly Royal Brunei Airlines while doing so. Our idea is to position Brunei as the antidote to the modern-day stress of city life in Asia and the world.”
However, even with one of the world’s best marketing agencies behind it, Brunei will now likely face an uphill battle enticing liberally-minded tourists.
“No amount of PR spin can hide the cruelty of Brunei’s new penal code provisions,” said a spokesperson for Amnesty International. “Imposing horrific penalties for acts that shouldn’t even be considered criminal, like same-sex sexual activity, is wrong on every level. The government should immediately withdraw the order enacting Syariah Penal Code Order 2013.”
While the campaign to boycott the Sultan of Brunei’s hotel group presumably extends to the destination itself, it raises questions about the effectiveness of a boycott, which will likely hurt ordinary people harder than the Sultan, whose personal fortune is estimated to be $20 billion (£15.2bn).

Kampong Ayer Floating village in Brunei
Kampong Ayer Floating village in Brunei CREDIT: ISTOCK
“Whilst the Brunei government’s decision to implement barbaric such practices is appalling, that does not mean that a tourism boycott is necessarily the correct response,” said Justin Francis, CEO of Responsible Travel
“It’s important to remember that the government’s response does not always accurately reflect the feelings of the people. And rather than impacting the government, jobs and livelihoods that depend on tourism would be lost, and it's the citizens who would suffer.”
Boycotts also raise questions about where tourists should draw moral lines. The Maldives, where stoning is also a punishment? The UAE, where adulterers are given 100 lashes? Morocco, where homosexuality is punishable by prison?   
“If we boycotted every country that didn’t have a clean record when it comes to human rights or animal welfare, for example, we would be left with a very small handful of places which we would feel comfortable visiting,” said Francis. 
“A country is far more complex than just one issue. We believe tourists have the power to travel responsibly, even in destinations with poor rights records."

April 5, 2019

Boycott on Brunei Hotel Gathers Strength as Capital Anti Gay Law Goes Into Effect

View image on Twitter

Los Angeles politicians were equally pointed. On Tuesday, three City Council members proposed a resolution that officially condemned the government of Brunei “for adopting laws that impose extreme and inhumane penalties.” The proposal discouraged employees and residents from staying at or attending any functions at the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air unless the law was repealed.
The city controller, Ron Galperin, said he was “outraged and horrified” by the law and posted photos of Hotel Bel-Air and the Beverly Hills Hotel with a red X through them.
Representatives for the Dorchester Collection said in a statement on Wednesday that the company does “not tolerate any form of discrimination.”
“Dorchester Collection’s Code emphasizes equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees,” they said. “Inclusion and diversity remain core beliefs.”
This is not the first time Hollywood has called for a boycott of the two hotels because of Brunei’s punitive legal system. In 2014, the City Council unanimously passed a resolution urging the government of Brunei “to divest itself of the Beverly Hills Hotel” after a wave of high-profile protests in response to the country’s harsh punishments for adultery, abortion and homosexuality.
But it is unclear what impact the boycott will have. Although the earlier protests resulted in a flood of cancellations, they did not move the Sultan to sell. In time, the issue faded and celebrities and their entourages returned. 

March 30, 2019

George Clooney Calls for Boycott Associated with Brunei, If Fairness Doesn’t Hit Them Maybe $$ Will

FILE - This combination of file photos shows George Clooney in Pasadena, Calif., on Feb. 11, 2019, left, and Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in Brussels on Oct. 18, 2018. Clooney is calling for the boycott of nine hotels in the U.S. and Europe with ties to Sultan Bolkiah, who's country will implement Islamic criminal laws in April 2019 to punish gay sex by stoning offenders to death. (AP Photo/Willy Sanjuan and Francisco Seco, File)
 George Clooney and the Brunei Homophobe(Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in Brussels on Oct. 18, 2018)
Associated Press

Actor George Clooney called for the boycott of nine hotels owned by the sultan of Brunei in an op-ed published Thursday by the industry website Deadline. The Asian nation will implement a law next week making gay sex and adultery punishable by death.
“Every single time we stay at or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery,” Clooney wrote. “Brunei is a monarchy and certainly any boycott would have little effect on changing these laws. But are we really going to help pay for these human-rights violations?"
Though its population totals under a half-million, Brunei ranks among the wealthiest nations in the world due to its oil and natural gas production. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah announced the new strict laws in 2014 when Brunei became the first country in its region to adopt sharia law. Homosexuality has been illegal in Brunei since it was a British colony, but the new laws specify the death penalty as a punishment. The Brunei Investment Agency owns several luxury hotels that make up the Dorchester Collection: The Dorchester, 45 Park Lane and Coworth Park in the United Kingdom; the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air in the United States; Le Meurice and Hotel Plaza Athenee in France; Hotel Eden and Hotel Principe di Savoia in Italy. Clooney noted that many people in Hollywood previously boycotted the Los Angeles-area hotels in 2014 because of Brunei’s mistreatment of the LGBTQ community, going so far as to cancel a fundraiser for the Motion Picture Retirement Home that had been held at the Beverly Hills Hotel for years.
“But like all good intentions when the white heat of outrage moves on to the hundred other reasons to be outraged, the focus dies down and slowly these hotels get back to the business of business,” he continued. “And the Brunei Investment Agency counts on that.”  
Clooney has been actively involved in humanitarian work for years and vocal about human-rights violations worldwide. He and his wife, human-rights lawyer Amal Clooney, pledged $500,000 to the March for Our Lives organization last year and were honored earlier this month for their international humanitarian work at a charity gala in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Brunei’s new law goes into effect Wednesday. Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Brunei researcher at Amnesty International, publicly called for the nation to “immediately halt its plans” and for the international community to “urgently condemn Brunei’s move to put these cruel penalties into practice.”
Others, such as actress Jamie Lee Curtis, have reacted similarly and expressed their support for Clooney’s boycott.
“I’ve learned over the years of dealing with murderous regimes that you can’t shame them,” Clooney concluded. “But you can shame the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them and choose to look the other way.”

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