Brunei’s new penal code would enshrine ‘cruel and inhuman punishments’ UN rights chief warns

UN Photo/Manuel Elias Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, at UN Headquarters in New York on 27 September 2018.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Proposed changes to Brunei’s penal code to incorporate punishments under a strict interpretation of Islamic law – including death by stoning – should be halted, the UN’s top human rights official, Michelle Bachelet, said on Monday.

In an appeal to the Bruneian Government to stop what she described as “draconian” revisions, due to come into force on Wednesday, High Commissioner Bachelet maintained that they “would enshrine in legislation cruel and inhuman punishments that seriously breach international human rights law”.

According to a statement from Ms. Bachelet issue by her office, OHCHR, the death penalty would in theory be applicable for offences such as rape, adultery, sodomy; extramarital sexual relations for Muslim citizens; robbery, and insult or defamation of the Prophet Mohammad.

Public flogging as a punishment for abortion would also apply, as well as amputation for theft, once the proposed revisions become law. Other changes include making it a criminal offence to expose Muslim children “to the beliefs and practices of any religion other than Islam”, Ms. Bachelet said, before describing them as potentially marking “a serious setback” for human rights protections in the south-east Asian State. The oil-rich country has been ruled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, for more than 50 years.

Although the death penalty is already on the statute books in Brunei, the last execution there was carried out in 1957. Nonetheless, Ms. Bachelet stressed that under international law, capital punishment may only be applied for murder or intentional killing, after a trial held according to due process.

“I urge Brunei to maintain its de facto moratorium on the use of capital punishment,” she said, underlining that “human rights and faith are not opposing forces”.

She added: “No judiciary in the world can claim to be mistake-free and evidence shows that the death penalty is disproportionately applied against people who are already vulnerable, with a high risk of miscarriages of justice.”

Echoing concerns about the country’s penal code by UN human rights panels in the past, Ms. Bachelet highlighted the possible encouragement of violence and discrimination against women, including on the basis of their sexual orientation, and against religious minorities in Brunei.

“Any religion-based legislation must not violate human rights, including the rights of those belonging to the majority religion, as well as of religious minorities and non-believers,” Ms. Bachelet said.

“It is vital that the Government, religious authorities and a wide range of civil society actors work jointly to uphold human dignity and equality for all,” the High Commissioner added. “My Office stands ready to assist the Government of Brunei, using the constructive approach laid out by the faith-based framework of the Beirut Declaration on ‘Faith for Rights’.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How do we upskill a billion people by 2025? Leadership and collaboration will be key

The Commission calls for a climate neutral Europe by 2050*

COVID-19: Budget MEPs call for quick progress on post-2020 contingency plan

4 steps towards wiping out cervical cancer

These are the best MBAs if you want to be an entrepreneur

China-EU Special Report: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang endorses China’s big investment on Juncker’s plan at 10th China-EU Business Summit

Sochi not far away from Ukraine

Why are Black people in the UK more at risk from COVID-19?

UN member states express their will to tackle global migration but specific actions are still missing

International Women’s Day: Where does she belong?

COVID-19 is an unmissable chance to put people and the planet first

In Pakistan, Guterres urges world to step up climate action, praises support to Afghan refugees

1 in 4 Africans had to pay a bribe to access public services last year

A Young student assesses the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

‘Over-reacting is better than non-reacting’ – academics around the world share thoughts on coronavirus

Berlin cannot dictate anymore the terms for the enactment of the European Banking Union

OECD’s Gurría calls for overhaul of economic thinking to address global challenges

Finnish Council Presidency priorities debated in plenary

7 innovative projects making cities more sustainable

ECB settles the bank resolution issue, makes banking union tangible

Tobacco-free Public Space in Africa’s Most Populous Country

There are more than 1 billion guns in the world and this is who owns them

UN lauds special chemistry of the periodic table, kicking off 150th anniversary celebrations

How video games can reunite a divided world

Brussels wins game and match in Ukraine no matter the electoral results

The true EU unemployment rate may have soared to 21.9%

Landmark EU Parliament – ECB agreement on bank supervision

GSMA announces first speakers for Mobile 360 Series-Middle East and North Africa

OECD sees rising trade tensions and policy uncertainty further weakening global growth

Does hosting a World Cup make economic sense?

How governments and mobile operators are easing network congestion during the COVID-19 crisis

Macron leads EU-wide minimum wage call as Merkel, Medvedev warn of global injustice

Coronaviruses: the truth against the myths

Sustainable fisheries: Commission takes stock of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy and launches consultation on the fishing opportunities for 2021

Hungary: Commission takes next step in the infringement procedure for non-provision of food in transit zones

Do we need a new Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after COVID-19?

Summertime Consultation: 84% want Europe to stop changing the clock

Groundbreaking cancer-fighting drugs now included in updated UN list of essential medicines

First-ever global conference of national counter-terrorism chiefs will strengthen cooperation, build ‘resilient’ States, says top UN official

Stricter rules to stop terrorists from using homemade explosives

3 innovations which are leading the fight to save our ocean

During the coronavirus pandemic, we must fight for LGBTQ rights more than ever

New rules make household appliances more sustainable

The world is failing miserably on access to education. Here’s how to change course

The ECB ‘accidentally’ followed IMF‘s policy advice for growth and job creation by printing more money

Don’t compare data to oil – digitization needs a new mindset

Q&A on extraordinary remote participation procedure

What kind of action on social justice should we expect from companies in the future?

Banks get new capital for free and citizens pay the bill

The widely advertised hazards of the EU not that ominous; the sting is financial woes

David Attenborough: The planet can’t cope with overpopulation

The future of suicide and depression prevention

These 5 start-ups are shaping the future of Africa’s cities

Migration and asylum: EU funds to promote integration and protect borders

Here’s how sustainability can make you stand out from the crowd

Dieselgate: Parliament calls for mandatory retrofits of polluting cars

It’s not summer holidays what lead to the bad August of the German economy

We need to deep clean the oceans. Here’s how to pay for it

As people return to work, here’s how we can make commuting more inclusive and sustainable

International Literacy Day: What you need to know about youth literacy

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s