Published On: Wed, Apr 3rd, 2019

Brunei news: Sultan calls for TOUGHER Islamic teaching after Sharia stoning law introduced | World | News

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Following the introduction of the barbaric law, which sees adulterers and homosexuals stoned to death on conviction, numerous high-profile celebrities have spoken out. Sir Elton John and Hollywood legend George Clooney are among those who have condemned the move. They are calling for a boycott of some Brunei hotels in response.

Mr Clooney called for the boycott of nine hotels, including establishments in London, owned by Brunei after the oil-rich nation said homosexual acts could be punishable by stoning to death. 

He said: “Every single time we stay at, or take meetings at, or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery.”

The Hollywood superstar’s pleas were echoed by pop icon Sir Elton John, who helped spearhead the boycott. 

But Hassanal Bolkiah, the 29th and current Sultan and Yang di-Pertuan of Brunei and also the country’s Prime Minister, has called for tougher Islamic teachings in the wake of the backlash, AFP reported. 

According to Forbes, Mr Bolkiah is one of the wealthiest individuals in the world, with a net worth of $20billion (£15billion) in 2008 and after Queen Elizabeth II he is the world’s second-longest reigning monarch. 

But the Sultan’s hardline stance and adoption of extreme Islamic laws have landed him in hot water with the international community. 

US officials have spoken out to attack the contentious implementation of the archaic and brutal law, with some claiming it amounts to a flagrant disregard for the United Nations Convention Against Torture. 

Robert Palladino, State Department spokesman, said: “Brunei’s decision to implement Phases Two and Three of the Sharia Penal Code and associated penalties runs counter to its international human rights obligations, including with respect to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Mr Palladino added: “We continue to encourage Brunei to ratify and implement the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which it signed in 2015, and to sign, ratify, and implement the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

Through its sovereign wealth fund Brunei owns several luxury hotels in the UK including The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane in London, as well as Coworth Park in Berkshire.

A spokesperson for the hotel group said: “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.

“Inclusion and diversity remain core beliefs as we do not tolerate any form of discrimination.”

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