Governments urged to keep pressure on Brunei after gay sex death penalty halt

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05/06/2019

Diplomatic pressure on Brunei should not be eased until anti-LGBT+ laws are completely repealed, human rights advocates said on Monday, dismissing the Southeast Asian country’s move to extend a moratorium on the death penalty. Brunei sparked a global outcry when it rolled out its interpretation of Islamic laws, or sharia, on April 3, allowing whipping and stoning to death for those found guilty of adultery, sodomy and rape. Seeking to temper a backlash led by celebrities such as actor George Clooney and singer Elton John, Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on Sunday extended a moratorium on the death penalty to include its new Islamic laws. “On the surface it seems like good news,” said Matthew Woolfe, founder of human rights group The Brunei Project. “(But) the fact that these laws are not being repealed is still of concern to us,” Australia-based Woolfe told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “There is nothing stopping the Brunei government from lifting the moratorium at anytime.”

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