Brunei will implement new changes to its penal code on Wednesday, April 3, that include harsh penalties for social offenses. New punishments will be enacted following the change including possible amputation for theft and stoning for sodomy and adultery. Many offenses are already outlawed, though the degree of enforcement varies. While most of the laws apply to Muslims in Brunei, potential infractions by non-Muslims are discouraged.
Brunei is a very socially conservative monarchy that began implementation of an Islamic criminal code in 2014. The passage of the new penal code targeted social infractions including pregnancy out of wedlock and banned the sale of alcohol. The new changes were initially planned for 2014 but delayed due to international backlash.
Individuals in or traveling to Brunei are advised to familiarize themselves with changes to the criminal code, abide by local customs and behaviors, and adhere to instructions and advice issued by their home governments.
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