Is the Sharia law justified?

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Regarding the upcoming introduction of the second and third phases of Sharia criminal law in Brunei Darussalam on April 3, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, Bärbel Kofler, said today (April 2nd):

I am shocked by the impending tightening of Sharia laws in Brunei. The death penalty is a cruel and degrading form of punishment. The same applies to other corporal punishments, for which Brunei is also creating a legal basis with this step. These punishments are incompatible with human dignity and cannot be justified on religious grounds.

Particularly disturbing is the tightening of criminal liability for sexual acts between same-sex partners who are threatened with stoning in the future. I strongly condemn the prosecution of people on the basis of their sexual orientation or their gender identity and the brutal punishments that result from them.

I call on the government of Brunei not to implement the planned tightening of sharia criminal law and, if the law does come into force, not to implement the death penalty and other corporal punishment under any circumstances. We see the criminal provisions as a clear violation of the country's human rights obligations.


The Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam plans to tighten Sharia criminal law on April 3rd. This creates a legal basis for extreme corporal punishments such as amputations for theft and stoning for same-sex and extra-marital intercourse. In 2014, Brunei introduced Sharia criminal law in a first phase. The impending introduction of the second and third phases has been postponed again and again since then.