Brunei: British Nationals Abroad

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 29th May 2019.

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Photo of Chuka Umunna Chuka Umunna Independent, Streatham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to safeguard (a) British armed forces personnel and (b) British citizens based in Brunei from strict new laws against homosexuality and adultery in that country.

Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Minister of State

The British government has been in close consultation with the Government of Brunei and has ensured the necessary protections are in place with the Government of Brunei to mitigate against any issues that might arise from the introduction of the final phases of the Sharia Penal Code. British Forces have been instructed to conform to all Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice. We encourage all British passport holders visiting Brunei to read the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's travel advice pages which are updated on a regular basis.

On 5 May, the Sultan of Brunei confirmed that the de facto moratorium on the death penalty will apply to the Sharia Penal Code and committed Brunei to ratifying the United Nations Convention Against Torture. We have welcomed these announcements. The Sultan’s assurances confirm the value of addressing sensitive issues such as this, through respectful dialogue and diplomacy and, in that vein, we continue to encourage Brunei to remove corporal and capital punishments from its statues. Brunei’s commitments regarding the death penalty and United Nations Convention Against Torture go a significant way to addressing our anxieties about the human rights situation in Brunei.

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