Brunei delays introduction of tough Islamic law

2014-04-22 09:04
(File)

(File) (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Bandar Seri Begawan - Brunei has postponed its implementation of harsh Islamic punishments, due to begin on Tuesday, that have earned condemnation from the United Nations and sparked rare criticism at home.

No confirmed new date was given for the start of the punishments - which will eventually include flogging, the severing of limbs and death by stoning - but an official told the Brunei Times they would begin "in the very near future".

The new criminal code brings in execution by stoning as the punishment for gay sex and adultery as well as rape.

It also introduces the death penalty for defamation of the Prophet Mohammed, blasphemy and declaring oneself a non-Muslim.

Brunei's Sultan Hassanal is on a trip to Singapore, and it is thought that his government decided it could not introduce the new law without the Islamic monarch - the driving force behind the move - kicking it off.

Jauyah Zaini, assistant director of Brunei's Islamic Legal Unit, was quoted by the Brunei Times as saying implementation had been delayed "due to unavoidable circumstances". He did not elaborate nor give a new date.

‘Firewall’

Authorities in the oil-rich sultanate said a sharia "declaration ceremony" would go ahead as planned on 30 April to launch the first phase of the new penal code.

Sultan Hassanal - one of the world's wealthiest men - had announced in October that new sharia law punishments would be phased in.

The UN's human rights office criticised the raft of harsh new measures this month, saying it was "deeply concerned" about the revised criminal code.

The move also sparked an outcry earlier this year on social media - the only outlet for public criticism of authorities in Brunei, where questioning the 67-year-old sultan is taboo.

Non-Muslims have also expressed anxiety over mixed messages on whether the punishments would apply to them.

Situated on Borneo island, which it shares with Malaysia and Indonesia, Brunei practises a more conservative form of Islam than its Muslim-majority neighbours, banning the sale of alcohol and heavily restricting other religions.

The sultan has backed the strengthening of Islam in his country, setting up a "firewall" against what he calls potentially harmful outside influences.

Officials have previously said sharia cases would require an extremely high burden of proof and judges would have wide discretion applying it.

Brunei already has the death penalty, but has not carried out any executions since 1957.
Read more on:    un  |  religion  |  human rights
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You are in a curious mood and you want to be the first to know what is happening. You may find yourself drawn into cyber chatting...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.