Brunei has introduced a new sharia law that makes adultery and homsexuality punishable by stoning to death.It makes Brunei the first country in Southeast Asia to have a sharia penal code at the national level.The new law mostly applies to Muslims though some aspects will also apply to non-Muslims.
The features of Brunei sharia laws are (a)It makes adultery and homsexuality punishable by stoning to death.(b)It also stipulates the death penalty for rape,sodomy, robbery and insulting or defaming the Prophet Muhammad (c)It also cover a range of other crimes,including punishment for theft by amputation and (d)It also introduces public flogging as punishment for abortion and criminalises exposing Muslim children to the beliefs and practices of any religion other than Islam.
United Nations has labelled the the Sharia law as cruel,inhumane and amounting to torture and breach international human rights agreements. Further,Brunei’s gay community has expressed shock and fear at the medieval punishments.
Sharia law is Islam’s legal system.It is derived from both the Koran, Islam’s central text and fatwas – the rulings of Islamic scholars.Sharia law acts as a code for living that all Muslims should adhere to including prayers,fasting and donations to the poor.
According to the International Lesbian,Gay,Bisexual,Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), Brunei joins countries like Iran,Saudi Arabia,Yemen, Sudan,Mauritania and parts of Nigeria and Somalia which also imposes death penalty for same-sex relationships.