Women in Brunei Darussalam face threat of stoning to death

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Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Women in Brunei Darussalam are facing the threat of being stoned to death under the revised penal code due to come into force on 22 April, according to the United Nations human rights office.

The code stipulates the death penalty for numerous offences, including, adultery, sodomy and extramarital sexual relations for Muslims.

People in the Southeast Asian country can also be sentenced to death for religious insults, robbery and murder.

Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, says the revised penal code also introduces stoning to death for rape.

"A number of UN studies have also revealed that women are more likely to be sentenced to death by stoning, due to deeply entrenched discrimination and stereotyping against them, including among law enforcement and judicial officers. The criminalization and application of the death penalty for consensual relations between adults in private also violates a whole host of rights, including the rights to privacy, to equality before the law, the right to health and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention." (29")

The UN human rights office is urging the government of Brunei Darussalam to delay the legislation.

It is calling on the authorities to conduct a comprehensive review ensuring its compliance with international human rights standards.

Brunei has maintained an effective moratorium on use of the death penalty since 1957.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’45″

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