UN / BRUNEI HUMAN RIGHTS

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01-Apr-2019 00:00:40
In an appeal to the Bruneian Government to stop what she described as “draconian” revisions, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet stated that they “would enshrine in legislation cruel and inhuman punishments that seriously breach international human rights law.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / BRUNEI HUMAN RIGHTS
TRT: 00:40
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 01 APRIL 2019, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations Headquarters

01 APRIL 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2.Various shots, press briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, United Nations:
“And the High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged today the Government of Brunei to stop entering into force of a new penal code which will enshrine legislations cruel and inhumane punishment in breach of international human rights law, including death by stoning.”
4. Wide shot, press briefing room

STORYLINE:

In an appeal to the Bruneian Government to stop what she described as “draconian” revisions, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet stated that they “would enshrine in legislation cruel and inhuman punishments that seriously breach international human rights law.”

Speaking to reporters today (01 Apr) in New York, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric stated that the High Commissioner urged the Government of Brunei to “stop entering into force of the new penal code.

According to a statement from 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”, Bachelet said in her statement, 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, 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.

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

Her statement noted that “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, 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.

Her statement also 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,” adding that “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.’
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