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06th Apr 2019

Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs updates travel advice for Brunei following new severe laws

Rory Cashin


Death by stoning was introduced into law there this week for anyone caught to be having extramarital sex and gay sex.

On Wednesday 3 April, the Asian nation of Brunei amended their laws, which introduced death by stoning for extramarital sex, gay sex, or abortion, as well as amputation of limbs for stealing and lashes with a whip for lesbian sex.

There had been a huge public backlash to these new laws, including several high profile celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Elton John, Jamie Lee Curtis, Billie Jean King, and George Clooney calling for a boycott of the luxury chain of hotels owned by the Sultan Of Brunei.

As of Friday, the Department of Foreign Affairs updated their overview for Irish citizens heading to Brunei, under the headings of Security Status and Emergency Contacts:

“We advise Irish citizens visiting Brunei Darussalam to take normal precautions. However, we strongly recommend that Irish citizens familiarise themselves with and observe local law and customs before visiting Brunei, including shariah/syariah/sharia law.

“Most laws under Common Law and the Sharia Criminal Code apply to all people in Brunei, regardless of nationality or religion and penalties can be very severe (including the death penalty). Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in Brunei, we’re limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency.

“However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Singapore. We suggest you learn as much as you can about Brunei before your trip from travel agents, tour operators and guide books.

“The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you’re in Brunei, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.”

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