Germany Protests to Brunei Envoy Over Anti-Gay Law Plans


Germany's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it has protested Brunei's plans to implement Islamic criminal laws that punishes gay sex by stoning offenders to death.

German diplomats expressed concern at the introduction of Sharia law penalties and appealed to Brunei's ambassador Monday to "abide by existing international human rights obligations," the ministry said in a statement.

The legal change in the tiny, oil-rich monarchy, which also includes amputation for theft, is due to come into force Wednesday.

Human rights group Amnesty International has slammed the punishments as "vicious ."

American actor George Clooney, who is married to prominent human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, called recently for a boycott of luxury hotels in Europe and the United States linked to Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

The sultan holds Germany's Federal Order of Merit, a distinction bestowed on him in an exchange of honors during a state visit in 1998. Frank Mueller-Rosentritt, a lawmaker with the opposition Free Democrats, suggested that he could be stripped of the award.

The German president's office said that orders awarded during state visits cannot be revoked, but stressed President Frank-Walter Steinmeier's rejection of the death penalty and stance that threatening gay people with "cruel punishments" violates elementary human rights.

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