Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Brunei Places Moratorium On Death Penalty Under Sharia Code; Will Ratify Torture Convention

Earlier this year, the Sultan of Brunei announced further implementation of Sharia law in his southeast Asian country, including implementation of the provisions in Syariah Penal Code Order, 2013 (SPCO) on stoning for the offences of adultery and homosexual sex. (See prior posting.) Now, according to a Bloomberg News report on Sunday, the Sultan has announced a further moratorium on implementation of the death penalty. Borneo Bulletin has published portions of the Sultan's television address delivered over the weekend:
As evident for more than two decades, we have practised a de facto moratorium on the execution of death penalty for cases under the common law. This will also be applied to cases under the SPCO, which provides a wider scope for remission.
As we are all aware, Brunei Darussalam has begun to fully implement the SPCO on April 3, 2019. This is our religious obligation to Allah the Almighty as an Islamic country. The aim of implementing the law is to uphold the objectives of Syariah which are to protect religion, life, lineage, property and intellect....
In upholding our international commitments and obligations on human rights, Brunei Darussalam will be ratifying the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT). Both the common law and the Syariah law are aimed to ensure peace and harmony of the country. They are also crucial in protecting the morality and decency of the public as well as respecting the privacy of individuals.