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27 Jun 2014

Worldwide day of protest against Sultan of Brunei underway

Human rights activists in 13 cities on four continents are conducting an “international day of action” on June 27 to press for the Sultan of Brunei to repeal anti-gay laws that he recently promulgated.

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The protests called #StopTheSultan,  are being organized by LGBT groups and labor unions in every country where the Sultan’s Dorchester Collection owns hotels, according to icito.com.
Rallies are also taking place at the Brunei embassies in Washington D.C.; Brussels, Belgium; Canberra, Australia; Delhi, India; Manila, the Philippines; and Ottowa, Canada.
The campaign has its own Facebook page to force the sultan to repeal a harsh new penal code that calls for stoning gays and adulterers.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama‘s national security advisor singled out Brunei as one of the world’s worst transgressors against gay rights. “Unfortunately, in too many places, being gay or transgender is enough to make someone the target of slurs, torments, and violence,” Susan Rice told a group of LGBT activists at the White House.
“In many places, allies and supporters of the LGBT community are also penalized,” Rice pointed adding, “In seven countries — eight, if Brunei continues on its path — same-sex acts are punishable by death.”
She said that the Obama Administration has specifically directed that American diplomacy and assistance promote and protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women, all around the world.
“We’ve made it clear that the United States will respond appropriately when nations target their own citizens,” Rice said.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the absolute ruler of the tiny Southeast Asian kingdom had May 1 decreed into law the strict Islamic Sharia penal code that will include calls for flogging, dismemberment and lead to death by stoning for crimes of a sexual nature, including those of same-sex relations.
Same-sex relations have long been a crime in Brunei, but the maximum punishment till now has been a 10-year prison sentence.
Brunei is extremely wealthy because of its petroleum and natural gas fields and is classified as a developed country. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah is reputed to be is one of the world’s richest with an estimated net worth of $20 billion. He has been head of state since 1967.

The protests called #StopTheSultan,  are being organized by LGBT groups and labor unions in every country where the Sultan’s Dorchester Collection owns hotels, according to icito.com.

Rallies are also taking place at the Brunei embassies in Washington D.C.; Brussels, Belgium; Canberra, Australia; Delhi, India; Manila, the Philippines; and Ottawa, Canada.

The campaign has its own Facebook page to force the sultan to repeal a harsh new penal code that calls for stoning gays and adulterers.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama‘s national security advisor singled out Brunei as one of the world’s worst transgressors against gay rights. “Unfortunately, in too many places, being gay or transgender is enough to make someone the target of slurs, torments, and violence,” Susan Rice told a group of LGBT activists at the White House.

“In many places, allies and supporters of the LGBT community are also penalized,” Rice pointed adding, “In seven countries — eight, if Brunei continues on its path — same-sex acts are punishable by death.”

She said that the Obama Administration has specifically directed that American diplomacy and assistance promote and protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women, all around the world.

“We’ve made it clear that the United States will respond appropriately when nations target their own citizens,” Rice said.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the absolute ruler of the tiny Southeast Asian kingdom had May 1 decreed into law the strict Islamic Sharia penal code that will include calls for flogging, dismemberment and lead to death by stoning for crimes of a sexual nature, including those of same-sex relations.

Same-sex relations have long been a crime in Brunei, but the maximum punishment till now has been a 10-year prison sentence.

Brunei is extremely wealthy because of its petroleum and natural gas fields and is classified as a developed country. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah is reputed to be one of the world’s richest with an estimated net worth of $20 billion. He has been head of state since 1967.

 

Brunei Darussalam

Reader's Comments

1. 2014-06-27 13:35
It's OTTAWA, not Ottowa. Thanks!
2. 2014-06-27 14:47
screaming will not make solution as they will close their ears.
what best you can do just to kill, bomb, etc

Snake will still bite you when you scream. but will stop to bite forever if you kill the snake.

When you scream, snake may leave you but will come back to you to bite you. specially when the snake get very hungry.
3. 2014-06-28 14:18
3. He want to go to Heaven . Religion is the way to Heaven.
so. you have obligation to help him by sending Him to beautiful Heaven quickly. Then he will be thankful in Heaven.

4. poison, bom, bullet, etc may help people to go to Heaven quickly
5. Does He agent of satan to make deception?
4. 2014-06-28 14:21
3. He want to go to Heaven . Religion is the way to Heaven.
so. you have obligation to help him by sending Him to beautiful Heaven quickly. Then he will be thankful in Heaven.

4. poison, bom, bullet, etc may help people to go to Heaven quickly
5. Does He agent of satan to make deception?
Comment #5 was deleted by its author on 2014-06-28 14:27
Comment #6 was deleted by its author on 2014-06-28 14:27
7. 2014-06-28 22:14
Another pariah country...
Comment #8 was deleted by its author on 2014-06-28 22:16
9. 2014-07-11 04:02
How much are these boycotts based on what LGBT people in Brunei think they want and need? And how much are they just a bunch of rich celebrities seeking publicity and catharsis? http://paper-bird.net/2014/05/25/too-brown-to-be-heard-the-brunei-brouhaha/
10. 2014-07-13 11:55
ManAlive raises an interesting point about what the LGBT community in Brunei wants. Sadly, LGBT life in Brunei is very much underground and the LGBT community is one of the most oppressed groups in the country. This is not a result of the Syariah Penal Code, but rather because of existing laws, prejudices and cultural/religious attitudes. There is no visible LGBT activism in the country, the one or two remaining LGBT venues are forced to operate underground and are at constant risk of being raided and the saddest thing of all is hearing stories of LGBT Bruneians saying they believe they deserve to die because of their sexuality as it has become ingrained in them that it is wrong. Most Bruneians are reluctant to speak out because of fear of the repercussions and this is no less so with the LGBT community. The link ManAlive provided also raises some good points, though I do disagree with a lot the author has said. It is true that various groups have been campaigning against the Syariah Penal Code long before the campaign became popular as a result of the various high profile names becoming involved and I think it is fair to be sceptical about the involvement of such celebrities, but they also serve to help draw attention to what is going on in Brunei. The underlying fact of it all is that the new laws legislate the use of torture, including the stoning to death of men found guilty of gay sex, and the use of torture must be condemned under all circumstances. Aside from torture, there are also various other human rights violations contained within the Syariah Penal Code, including further restrictions on freedom of speech and religious freedom.
Comment #11 was deleted by its author on 2014-07-13 11:58
12. 2014-07-13 12:04
The Australian Senate last week missed an opportunity to send a clear message to the government of Brunei that the new laws curtailing human rights and endorsing the use of torture are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. If passed, the motion put forward by Senator Whish-Wilson would have called on the Australian Government to insist that Brunei addresses concerns over the human rights violations contained within the country's new Syariah Penal Code as a condition of it participating any further in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations. Instead, the Senate voted 47-10 to prevent the motion from being put to a vote, with opposing Senators arguing that such a serious issue requires serious debate, rather than simplifying it into a yes/no vote. While the result is disappointing, given that Brunei's new laws clearly violate human rights, it must be stressed that what was voted to in the Senate was whether or not a motion was the appropriate avenue for putting forward the issue and it was not a vote on the contents of the motion itself. There remains concern within the Australian Parliament over the new laws and we can expect to see these concerns raised again.

www.facebook.com/boycottbrunei

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