Hassanal Bolkiah, left, the sultan of Brunei, approved the harsh penalties for people engaging in gay sex and adultery.
Photo: Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images
Photo: Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images

Brunei to punish gay sex, adultery with death penalty by stoning

Persons found guilty of homosexual sex and adultery in the small southeast Asian kingdom of Brunei will be stoned to death under a law that goes into effect next week, CNN reported.

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The tiny sultanate will implement the new laws beginning Wednesday, Agence-Presse France reported. The punishment will be witnessed “by a group of Muslims,” CNN reported

Homosexuality is already illegal in Brunei, but it will become a capital offense beginning next week, according to AFP. The law will only apply to Muslims, the news service reported.

The new laws were announced in 2014 and have been implemented gradually, CNN reported. The latest phase was announced on the Brunei attorney general’s website on Dec. 29, CNN reported.

The sultanate also will have new penalties for theft, AFP reported. The penalty for theft will be amputation of the right hand for first offenders, and the left foot for a second offense, the news service reported. 

Human rights groups were quick to condemn the new laws.

"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," Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Brunei researcher at Amnesty International, said in a statement.

Brunei has a population of just over 450,000 people and is located on the island of Borneo, according to CNN.

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