Sultan of Brunei known for his recent adultery and sodomy law and the negative reaction to it from the international human rights activists. Despite the Sharia law implemented in Brunei, sultan’s name was among other sponsors of the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
The criminalisation of “adultery and sodomy is to safeguard the sanctity of family lineage and marriage of individual Muslims, particularly women”, the official Brunei statement reads.
The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights sent a letter on 1 April to the Brunei mission in Geneva warning that the planned implementation of the new laws contravened international human rights standards set out in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights – which was ratified by Brunei in 2006.
Despite these controversial reactions, Queen Elizabeth II still enjoys a close relationship with the Sultan of Brunei. Both royals have attended the event in the private grounds of Windsor Castle every year since 1943. Moreover, organisers of the Royal Windsor Horse Show have named the Sultan’s Coworth Park hotel near Ascot, Berks, as one of the event’s sponsors.
Royal Ascot has already bowed to pressure and taken Coworth Park – one of nine hotels in the Sultan’s Dorchester Collection – off its list of recommended places to stay for the June meeting. British organizers did not intend to comment “at this time”.
Brunei insists sharia law aimed at the prevention of amorality, not punishment
Responding to the UN criticism, Brunei has sent a response from Erywan Yusof, the minister of foreign affairs, emphasizing in its letter that Sharia law “focuses more on prevention than punishment. “Its aim is to educate, deter, rehabilitate and nurture rather than to punish,” the letter reads. Mr Yusof also reiterated Sharia does not criminalise based on sexual orientation or belief, including same-sex relations.
Regardless, Brunei went ahead with the implementation of the new laws, under the continued phasing in of Sharia alongside common law.