Sultan of Brunei protest this Saturday at Dorchester Hotel

Protesters urge repeal of death penalty for gay sex


2pm 6 April, Dorchester Hotel, 53 Park Lane, London W1K 1QA

For immediate release 5 April 2019

“The Sultan is copying the barbaric punishments enforced by ISIS in Syria and Iraq; enacting death by stoning for people found guilty of homosexuality, adultery and insulting the prophet Mohammad,” said Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

“He is comparable to the ISIS fanatics who executed people for these so-called crimes during their murderous caliphate. Brunei should be isolated as a pariah state, just like ISIS was.”

The Peter Tatchell Foundation and Benali Hadamache are co-hosting Saturday’s protest outside the Dorchester Hotel, which is owned by the Sultan of Brunei. They are calling for “a global boycott of businesses owned by the Sultan and his regime, including the Dorchester Hotel and Royal Brunei Airlines.”

Peter Tatchell commented:

“We are urging countries worldwide to suspend diplomatic, economic and military relations with Brunei and to threaten boycotts, sanctions and disinvestments if these extremist Sharia punishments are not revoked.

“The UK royal family must stop hosting the Sultan and cut all ties with his despotic regime. Brunei should be suspended from the Commonwealth. These draconian laws violate the Commonwealth Charter, which Brunei has agreed to uphold.

“The introduction of death by stoning for homosexuality is an outrageous backward step that will damage the country’s international reputation and menace the lives of LGBT+ people. Stoning is a particularly cruel, barbaric form of punishment. It violates international human rights law.

“This legislation could have adverse economic effects for Brunei. There will be a brain drain as talented LGBT+ employees migrate abroad. Foreign investment, aid and trade is likely to diminish, and tourism revenue will fall as western tourists stay away.

“Brunei is a member of the Commonwealth. This new law contradicts the equality and non-discrimination clauses of the Commonwealth Charter. The Secretary General, Baroness Scotland, must speak out against Brunei’s threat to LGBT human rights.

“The Sultan’s recent claim that visitors to Brunei can enjoy a safe, harmonious welcome is absurd, false propaganda. His introduction of harsh Sharia law will put LGBT+ people at risk of execution by stoning. There is nothing safe or harmonious about that.”

Benali Hamdache added:

“The move to kill gay people by stoning is barbaric and has no place in the 21st century. It’s time to demonstrate that London will not tolerate the Sultan’s brutal homophobia. We encourage all businesses and individuals to boycott any dealings with his chain of hotels. The Sultan should become an international pariah.

“Just as importantly, we call on the UK government to take action against the Kingdom. It’s time, via the Commonwealth and all available channels, to pressure Brunei to rethink or else to withdraw our economic and political involvement with the country.”