PRESS RELEASE – Sultanate of Brunei ready to sentence to death for homosexuality

1 April 2019

Following the process announced in 2014, Brunei is changing its legislation and announces its intention to make homosexual relations between adults and consenting persons punishable by death for Muslims in the Sultanate. ...] If the Minister of Justice confirms this announcement on Wednesday, April 3, Brunei will officially become the 12th country in the world to sentence to death for homosexuality.

> Read ECPM's press release <



ECPM has been leading the campaign "The death penalty is homophobic" for several years and organised a debate on the subject at the 7th World Congress against the Death Penalty (Brussels, 26 February to 1 March 2019). On that occasion, the UN Special Rapporteur, Agnès Callamard, explained that governments that abuse LGBT people should comply with international human rights standards.

> More information on the Death Penalty is Homophobic campaign <


On the morning of 1 April, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, urged Brunei to refrain from introducing the death penalty for homosexuality, adultery or insults against the Prophet Mohammed.

"I call on the government not to bring into force the new Penal Code, which would mark a serious step backwards for the protection of human rights in Brunei if it were applied." Michelle Bachelet in a press release.


Last updated Wednesday 3 April 2019 : 

The strictest Shariah penal code enters into force in Brunei on Wednesday, April 3. Brunei becomes the first country in Southeast Asia to apply this penal code, as does Saudi Arabia.

The new laws make sex between men punishable by death by stoning. Relationships between women are punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison. According to La Croix, the new code also provides for the amputation of a hand or foot for thieves; rape is also punishable by death, as is insulting the Prophet Mohammed. Some articles of the code, such as stoning for homosexuality, apply to both Muslims and non-Muslims.