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Brunei says death penalty for gay sex will not be enforced following outcry

07 May 2019 by
Brunei says death penalty for gay sex will not be enforced following outcry

The Sultan of Brunei has implemented a moratorium on the death penalty after the introduction of strict Islamic laws prompted an outcry that included the boycotting of the Dorchester Collection of hotels, owned by the country's ruler.

The Sultan said the penalty would not be enforced in relation to the new laws, which made gay sex and adultery punishable by stoning to death.

But, he added: "I am aware that there are many questions and misperceptions with regard to the implementation of the SPCO [Syariah Penal Code Order]. However, we believe that once these have been cleared, the merit of the law will be evident."

The implementation of the laws prompted calls for a boycott of the Dorchester Collection's nine hotels from figures including George Clooney and Elton John. The properties are owned by the Brunei Investment Agency - the sovereign wealth fund of the Sultan.

Last month protesters gathered outside the Dorchester hotel in London's Park Lane to demonstrate against the implantation of the new laws.

The Dorchester Collection had said that it understood people's anger and frustration, but explained that the issue was a political and religious one that "we don't believe should be played out in our hotels and amongst our 3,650 employees… Our values are far removed from the politics of ownership.

"We are a team of people representing 67 nationalities, who love what we do and care enormously for our guests and communities."

It added: "Dorchester Collection's Code emphasises equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees."

The company was previously hit by a boycott by prominent members of the fashion, media and travel industries following the implementation by the Sultan of a series of harsh Islamic laws in 2014.

Crowd gathers outside the Dorchester to protest anti-LGBT laws>>

Social media accounts of Dorchester Collection hotels shut down>>

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