Brunei’s Shariah law ‘incompatible with human rights’

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caning-womanBrunei’s move to introduce an Islamic penal code under Shariah law, which, among others, allows stoning to death or amputating of limbs for certain crimes, has been ruled incompatible with international human rights law by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), The Diplomat wrote.

The new law criminalises adultery, extra-marital affairs, consensual gay sex and also re-introduces the death penalty after years of an effective moratorium, as well as amputation of limbs for theft. The ICJ described the severe punishments, which will come into force in April 2014, as a backward step, particularly for women who have “more risk of receiving this penalty because they are most likely to be found guilty of adultery or having engaged in extra-marital sexual relations.”

In a letter to Brunei’s government, the organisation expressed its opinion that the new legislation is not compatible with international human rights law.

“We were very surprised that an ASEAN member is doing this, especially at this point in time, where the ASEAN is trying to demonstrate to the international community that it is able to develop human rights standards,” said ICJ’s international adviser Emerlynne Gil, adding that “this definitely is a setback, not only for Brunei, but for the entire region.”

Brunei became the first state in East Asia to impose Shariah law, beating even Malaysia which holds dear to its dubious claims of being secular. This will challenge ASEAN and its plans to launch an ASEAN Economic Community, partially modeled on the European Union, by the end of 2015.

Brunei’s sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has said the Sharia Penal Code would only apply to Muslims and should be regarded as a form of “special guidance” from God. About two-thirds of Brunei’s 420,000-strong population is Muslim.

Brunei’s Mufti Awang Abdul Aziz, the country’s top Islamic scholar, said that the Shariah law “guarantees justice for everyone and safeguards their well-being.”

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Brunei’s move to introduce an Islamic penal code under Shariah law, which, among others, allows stoning to death or amputating of limbs for certain crimes, has been ruled incompatible with international human rights law by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), The Diplomat wrote.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

caning-womanBrunei’s move to introduce an Islamic penal code under Shariah law, which, among others, allows stoning to death or amputating of limbs for certain crimes, has been ruled incompatible with international human rights law by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), The Diplomat wrote.

The new law criminalises adultery, extra-marital affairs, consensual gay sex and also re-introduces the death penalty after years of an effective moratorium, as well as amputation of limbs for theft. The ICJ described the severe punishments, which will come into force in April 2014, as a backward step, particularly for women who have “more risk of receiving this penalty because they are most likely to be found guilty of adultery or having engaged in extra-marital sexual relations.”

In a letter to Brunei’s government, the organisation expressed its opinion that the new legislation is not compatible with international human rights law.

“We were very surprised that an ASEAN member is doing this, especially at this point in time, where the ASEAN is trying to demonstrate to the international community that it is able to develop human rights standards,” said ICJ’s international adviser Emerlynne Gil, adding that “this definitely is a setback, not only for Brunei, but for the entire region.”

Brunei became the first state in East Asia to impose Shariah law, beating even Malaysia which holds dear to its dubious claims of being secular. This will challenge ASEAN and its plans to launch an ASEAN Economic Community, partially modeled on the European Union, by the end of 2015.

Brunei’s sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has said the Sharia Penal Code would only apply to Muslims and should be regarded as a form of “special guidance” from God. About two-thirds of Brunei’s 420,000-strong population is Muslim.

Brunei’s Mufti Awang Abdul Aziz, the country’s top Islamic scholar, said that the Shariah law “guarantees justice for everyone and safeguards their well-being.”

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