4 April 2019
This Saturday protesters will be outside The Dorchester Hotel, opposing the move to criminalise gay sex by stoning in Brunei. On Facebook over 800 people have registered an interest in attending the protest this Saturday at 2pm.
The Hotel is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, an extension of the Kingdom of Brunei and the Sultan’s wealth. Protesters are calling for a boycott of the Sultan’s international hotels and action from the UK government to pressure Brunei to rethink.
The organiser of the protest Benali Hamdache said “The move to kill gay people by stoning is barbaric and has no place in the 21st Century. It’s time to demonstrate that London will not tolerate the Sultan’s brutal homophobia. We encourage all businesses and individuals to boycott any dealings with his chain of hotels. The Sultan should become an international pariah.”
“Just as importantly we call on the UK government to take action against the Kingdom. It’s time, via the Commonwealth and all available channels, to pressure Brunei to rethink or else to withdraw our economic and political involvement with the country.”
The protest has attracted high profile supporters including LGBT+ campaigner Peter Tatchell, Green MP Caroline Lucas and Labour London Assembly Member Tom Copley.
Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation said “The Sultan is copying the barbaric punishments enforced by ISIS in Syria and Iraq. He is no better than the ISIS fanatics who executed victims during their murderous caliphate,”
“Brunei’s introduction of death by stoning for homosexuality is an outrageous backward step that will damage the country’s international reputation and menace the lives of LGBT people. Stoning is a particularly cruel, barbaric form of punishment. It violates international human rights law.”
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said: "It's shocking that Brunei is returning to the dark ages of sentencing the LGBT+ community to a brutal death penalty.
"The UK Government must urgently use its position as Chair of the Commonwealth to put pressure on the Government of Brunei to reverse this murderous policy and respect basic human rights."