Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Brunei delays introduction of tough Islamic law

22 April 2014, 10:39

Bandar Seri Begawan - Brunei has postponed its implementation of harsh Islamic punishments, due to begin on Tuesday, that have earned condemnation from the United Nations and sparked rare criticism at home.

No confirmed new date was given for the start of the punishments - which will eventually include flogging, the severing of limbs and death by stoning - but an official told the Brunei Times they would begin "in the very near future".

The new criminal code brings in execution by stoning as the punishment for gay sex and adultery as well as rape.

It also introduces the death penalty for defamation of the Prophet Mohammed, blasphemy and declaring oneself a non-Muslim.

Brunei's Sultan Hassanal is on a trip to Singapore, and it is thought that his government decided it could not introduce the new law without the Islamic monarch - the driving force behind the move - kicking it off.

Jauyah Zaini, assistant director of Brunei's Islamic Legal Unit, was quoted by the Brunei Times as saying implementation had been delayed "due to unavoidable circumstances". He did not elaborate nor give a new date.


Authorities in the oil-rich sultanate said a sharia "declaration ceremony" would go ahead as planned on 30 April to launch the first phase of the new penal code.

Sultan Hassanal - one of the world's wealthiest men - had announced in October that new sharia law punishments would be phased in.

The UN's human rights office criticised the raft of harsh new measures this month, saying it was "deeply concerned" about the revised criminal code.

The move also sparked an outcry earlier this year on social media - the only outlet for public criticism of authorities in Brunei, where questioning the 67-year-old sultan is taboo.

Non-Muslims have also expressed anxiety over mixed messages on whether the punishments would apply to them.

Situated on Borneo island, which it shares with Malaysia and Indonesia, Brunei practises a more conservative form of Islam than its Muslim-majority neighbours, banning the sale of alcohol and heavily restricting other religions.

The sultan has backed the strengthening of Islam in his country, setting up a "firewall" against what he calls potentially harmful outside influences.

Officials have previously said sharia cases would require an extremely high burden of proof and judges would have wide discretion applying it.

Brunei already has the death penalty, but has not carried out any executions since 1957.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...