To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders
Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications
| Last updated
Terrifying new laws are set to be introduced to in Brunei which could see same-sex couples beaten or even stoned to death.
As part of the raft of legal changes, those convicted of robbery or adultery in the small state could have their limbs cut off.
According to reports, the horrific new laws will come into action from 3 April and unsurprisingly have come under much criticism from human rights bodies.
Under current legislation, same sex marriage is illegal and those convicted of being part of the LGBTQ+ community face long term prison sentences.
Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Brunei Researcher at Amnesty International, has demanded the country's leadership reverse these changes.
She told the Mirror: "Pending provisions in Brunei's Penal Code would allow stoning and amputation as punishments - including for children, to name only their most heinous aspects.
"Brunei must immediately halt its plans to implement these vicious punishments, and revise its Penal Code in compliance with its human rights obligations.
"The international community must urgently condemn Brunei's move to put these cruel penalties into practice."
She added: "As well as imposing cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments, it blatantly restricts the rights to freedom of expression, religion, and belief, and codifies discrimination against women and girls."
Ryan Silverio, from ASEAN SOGIE Caucus - a human rights group based in Manilla - told Reuters the changes were too severe and would threaten the lives of innocent people.
He said: "The full implementation of sharia penal law will apply severe penalties against consensual same-sex relations, including death penalty via stoning."
Brunei began its move to a stricter stance on homosexuality back in 2014 when it announced the introduction of Islamic criminal law. This was to be brought in gradually over three stages, including fines and jail time for pregnancy outside marriage or failing to pray on Fridays.
At the time, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who is also the country's prime minister, said the new laws were a 'great achievement'.
He said: "The decision to implement the (penal code) is not for fun but is to obey Allah's command as written in the Quran."
The South Asian country delayed the third stage after receiving a backlash from the international community, condemning the archaic punishments.
However, the controversial laws were confirmed today by Matthew Woolfe, founder of human rights group The Brunei Project, who told Reuters: "We are trying to get pressure placed on the government of Brunei but realise there is a very short time frame until the laws take effect.
"It took us by surprise that the government has now given a date and is rushing through implementation."
A Manila-based human rights group, the ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, confirmed the changes will come into place from Wednesday 3 April.
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read