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Brunei Embraces Strict Islamic Laws

2 May 2014

Brunei on Thursday embraced a form of Islamic Shariah criminal law that includes harsh penalties, a move slammed by international rights group as a step backward for human rights. The country began phasing in a version of Shariah that allows for penalties such as amputation for theft and stoning for adultery. Most of the punishments can be applied to non-Muslims, who account for about one-third of the 440,000 people in the oil-rich country. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah called the move a “great achievement” for Brunei. “The decision to implement the [Shariah penal code] is not for fun but is to obey Allah’s command as written in the Quran,” he said in a speech on Wednesday.—AP

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