TEMPO.CO – Human rights activists called the Islamic sharia law imposed by Brunei Darussalam yesterday as a step backwards in human rights protection.
“It constitutes an authoritarian move towards brutal medieval punishments that have no place in the modern, 21st-century world,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, Thursday.
Human Rights Group in the US, which pushes for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, also called those laws savage and found them horrific and sickening.
The United Nations last month also urged Brunei to delay the changes so that they could make sure the laws fulfill the international human rights standards. The UN said these laws could trigger more violence and discrimination towards women.
“Under international law, stoning people to death constitutes torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and is thus clearly prohibited,” said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said he did not expect the international community to accept the laws, but demanded them to respect the country’s decision. The 67-year-old denied that the laws are cruel. “Theory states that Allah’s law is cruel and unfair but Allah himself has said that his law is indeed fair,” he said.
TEMPO/Reuters/BBC/The Brunei Times
Friday, 02 May, 2014