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Brunei: Controversial Sharia law aimed at 'prevention'

IANS  |  Bandar Seri Begawan 

has defended its move to implement law, saying it was "about prevention rather than punishment", after global condemnation of its decision to implement the strict Islamic code under which and sex between men is punishable by to death.

The kingdom said there would be a "high threshold" for evidence in these type of cases, suggesting punishment would be rare. The UN had called the punishments "cruel and inhuman".

In response to the UN criticism, Brunei's in a statement on Thursday said that law "focuses more on prevention than punishment. Its aim is to educate, deter, rehabilitate and nurture rather than to punish", the reported.

The statement also said that "does not criminalize based on sexual orientation or belief, including same-sex relations".

The criminalization of "and sodomy is to safeguard the sanctity of family lineage and marriage of individual Muslims, particularly women", according to the statement.

It said for the maximum punishments of amputation or death to be carried out in the case of certain crimes, at least two men of "high moral standing and piety" would have to bear witness.

"These men would have to live up to 'extremely high' standards, making it (extremely) difficult to find one in this day and age," it added.

UK said on Thursday that he had spoken to the Bruneian who had suggested that Sharia prosecutions were, in practice, "unlikely".

Under the second phase of Sharia law that was implemented on April 3, individuals accused of certain acts will be convicted if they confess or if there were witnesses present.

Offences such as rape, adultery, sodomy, robbery and insult or defamation of the Prophet Muhammad will carry the maximum penalty of death.

Lesbian sex carries a different penalty of 40 strokes of the cane and/or a maximum of 10 years in jail. The maximum punishment for theft is amputation.

The first phase of Sharia law was implemented in 2014.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 12 2019. 17:04 IST
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