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Homosexuality, adultery punishable by death in Brunei

Homosexuality, adultery punishable by death in Brunei
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Homosexuality and adultery will be punishable by death in the south-east Asian nation of Brunei after a new law proposing the same comes into effect...

Homosexuality and adultery will be punishable by death in the south-east Asian nation of Brunei after a new law proposing the same comes into effect from next week.

As per the new law, anyone found guilty of the offenses will be stoned to death and the punishment will be "witnessed by a group of Muslims," reported CNN.

The human rights groups and the international community have expressed serious concerns about the new penal code, according to which theft will be punishable by amputation.

CNN quoted Brunei Researcher at Amnesty International, Rachel Chhoa-Howard as saying: "Brunei must immediately halt its plans to implement these vicious punishments and revise its Penal Code in compliance with its human rights obligations. The international community must urgently condemn Brunei's move to put these cruel penalties into practice."

Brunei, a small oil-rich nation with a population of over 450,000 people also made the headlines in 2014 after it became the first nation in the region to adopt the Islamic legal system - Sharia law. The kingdom is located on the island of Borneo, close to moderate Islamic nations of Indonesia and Malaysia.

In comparison to its neighbours, Brunei has grown conservative in recent years, including banning the sale of alcohol.

The new penal code was announced in May 2014, by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, who also acts as the country's Prime Minister.

In announcing the change, government's website quoted the Sultan saying that his government "does not expect other people to accept and agree with it, but that it would suffice if they just respect the nation in the same way that it also respects them."

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