Brunei is one of the States up for UPR review on 2 May 2014.
The revised penal code in Brunei Darussalam, is due to come in to force later this month,to stipulates the death penalty for numerous offences, including rape, adultery, sodomy, extramarital sexual relations for Muslims, insult or defamation of the Prophet Mohammad, insulting any verses of the Quran and Hadith, blasphemy, declaring oneself a prophet or non-Muslim, and for robbery and murder:
Brunei’s sultan announced that a new Islamic criminal law that could include penalties like amputation for theft and stoning for adultery will be enforced in six months.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said the Shariah Penal Code, which would be applied to Muslims only, should be regarded as a form of ‘special guidance’ from God and would be ‘part of the great history’ of the tiny, oil-rich monarchy on Borneo island.
‘By the grace of Allah, with the coming into effect of this legislation, our duty to Allah is therefore being fulfilled,’ the sultan said at a legal conference in Brunei’s capital.
Brunei’s Shariah Islamic court had previously handled mainly family-related disputes. The sultan has been hoping to implement the new law for years to bolster the influence of Islam in Brunei, where Muslims comprise about two-thirds of the population of nearly 420,000 people.
The minorities are mainly Buddhist, Christians and people of local indigenous beliefs.
Brunei’s Mufti Awang Abdul Aziz, the country’s top Islamic scholar, told Tuesday’s conference that the Shariah law ‘guarantees justice for everyone and safeguards their well-being.’
‘Let us not just look at the hand-cutting or the stoning or the caning per se, but let us also look at the conditions governing them,’ Awang said. ‘It is not indiscriminate cutting or stoning or caning. There are conditions and there are methods that are just and fair.’