[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Brunei adopts 'phase one' of Islamic law

Sultan launches new penal code that will eventually include stoning, amputation and flogging as punishments.

Last updated: 30 Apr 2014 05:43
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The Sultan said 'God's law is indeed fair' [AFP]

The sultan of Brunei has announced a controversial new penal code based on Islamic criminal punishments criticised by UN human rights officials.

"Today... I place my faith in and am grateful to God the almighty to announce that tomorrow, Thursday May 1, will see the enforcement of sharia law phase one, to be followed by the other phases," Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said.

Islamic law penalties would be introduced over time and would eventually include flogging, amputation and death by stoning for various crimes.

Many members of the Muslim ethnic Malay majority have voiced cautious support for the changes. However, non-Muslim citizens led a rare burst of criticism on social media earlier this year, but largely went silent after the sultan called for a halt.

"Theory states that God's law is harsh and unfair, but God himself has said that his law is indeed fair," the sultan said.

The UN's human rights office recently said it was "deeply concerned", adding that penalties such as stoning were classified under international law as "torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment".

Brunei officials have said such cases would require an extremely high burden of proof and judges would have wide discretion to avoid such punishments.

The sultan has warned of pernicious foreign influences such as the internet, and indicated he intends to place more emphasis on Islam.

Nearly 70 percent of Brunei's 400,000 people are Muslim Malays while about 15 percent are non-Muslim ethnic Chinese.

244

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
'I'm dying anyway, one piece at a time' said Steve Fobister, who suffers from disabilities caused by mercury poisoning.
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
join our mailing list