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Brunei Defends Anti-Gay Laws In Letter To UN

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Brunei has defended its new penal code, which has made gay sex punishable by death by stoning, in a letter submitted to the United Nations.

The letter, submitted by Erywan Yusof, Brunei’s Minister For Foreign Affairs, said the penalties focus “more on prevention than punishment”.

“Its aim is to educate, deter, rehabilitate and nurture rather than to punish,” he said.

“It seeks to strike the right balance between protecting the rights of the accused person and the rights of the victims and their families,” Mr Yusof wrote. The laws went into effect on April 3.

Mr Yusof did not elaborate on who Brunei considered the “victims” are in consensual gay sex between adults, to which the death penalty law applies. The United Nations and international rights groups have denounced the punishments, saying they amount to torture and a violation of human rights.

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