The law had been suggested for many years, but it will now be put into action.
Gay Star News has reported that homosexuality in Brunei is set to be punishable by stoning under a new extreme law set to come into action within two weeks.
The law is part of the Sharia Penal Code (SPC), and plans to fast-track the laws into implementation were posted back in December, however there were no public announcements made about the law and local media outlets have no reports surrounding it.
Speaking to Gay Star News about the laws, Matthew Woolfe, the founder and director of The Brunei Project, said: “I am extremely concerned by this move. Some of the laws that we are about to see implemented are horrendous and unjustifiable.
“While homosexual acts were already criminalized in Brunei under laws that were inherited from British colonial rule, we are going to see this taken to a new level.
“Whippings and stoning to death [will be] added to the punishments potentially facing LGBT+ in Brunei if they are found guilty of engaging in same-sex relations.”
Speaking about the lack of media reports, Woolfe said: “It all seems to be very hush-hush. I suspect the Brunei Government is trying to fly under the radar with the final implementation.”
Plans to implement the SPC first came in 2014, however it created such an international backlash because of its measures that the government put a hold on implementing the rest of the laws.
Woolfe said: “Implementation of the first phase was met with such an uproar internationally that I think Brunei wanted to delay further implementation until everyone had pretty much forgotten about these laws.
“‘Implementing these laws is really going to tarnish the image of Brunei as a peaceful and harmonious society and also as a country that can be trusted to stand by the commitments it makes to upholding international law.”
Woolfe shared hopes that if the laws regained international attention, then the government could be forced to halt the implementation again.