Brunei: LGBT People

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 2nd April 2019.

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Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Fisheries, Flooding and Water)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government will take in response to the decision by Brunei to introduce a new Penal Code which could result in LGBTQ people being whipped, tortured or stoned to death for consensual same-sex relations.

Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Minister of State

I raised UK concerns about hudud punishments during my visit to Brunei Darussalam in August 2018. More recently I raised these issues on Friday 29 March in a letter to the Deputy Foreign Minister. Additionally the British High Commission in Bandar Seri Begawan regularly discusses the introduction of the Sharia Penal Code with the Government of Brunei.

We will continue to encourage and work with the Bruneian Government, as with many other countries, to remove corporal and capital punishment from their statutes. We will also urge them to take steps to decriminalise and pass laws to protect LGBT people from all forms of discrimination.

The UK believes in the right to live with dignity, free from violence or discrimination irrespective of a person's sexual orientation. The International community must uphold the universality of human rights; the criminalisation of same-sex relations is wrong.

The UK is committed to combating discrimination and violence against LGBT people throughout the Commonwealth and ensured that last year's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Communique included the most progressive language yet on LGBT rights, complimented by an historic speech from the Prime Minister, and backed up with major programme spending on gender equality and LGBT rights.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice has been updated to alert British citizens of the introduction of the new local laws in Brunei and we continue to lobby against the use of such punishments.

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