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Cartan Global | Tokyo 2020


Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg says the organisation is "extremely concerned" after Brunei announced punishments including death by stoning for homosexuality and adultery would be brought in from next week.

The tiny Asian country has adopted a strict Islamic penal code based on Sharia law with tough new penalties including amputation for theft.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has brought in the laws in the oil and gas-rich country where around 75 per cent of the population are Muslim.

The move has been met with widespread international condemnation.

Amnesty International called the punishments "cruel and inhuman" and the United Nations slammed the plans for "torture" and "degrading treatment".

"We are extremely concerned at the news reports coming out of Brunei and join the international human rights community in opposing these new laws," Grevemberg told insidethegames.

"We must work closely with our Commonwealth partners to protect and promote human rights, supporting and upholding the Commonwealth's collective drive towards freedom, fairness and equality."

Brunei, which gained independence from Britain in 1984, has competed at every Commonwealth Games since Auckland in 1990.

All of their athletes at Gold Coast 2018 competed in lawn bowls with the country still awaiting its first medal.

It remains possible new laws could lead to Brunei being suspended from the Commonwealth, which would mean they could not compete at the Commonwealth Games.

Nigeria was suspended in 1995 for executing nine people, including Nobel Peace Prize nominee Ken Saro-Wiwa.

The ban was not lifted until 1999 so the country missed Kuala Lumpur 1998.

Pakistan, Fiji and Zimbabwe have also been suspended for political reasons.

Brunei first introduced Sharia law in 2014 and pledged to roll it out over the coming years.

Alcohol is banned, with whipping another potential punishment.

Having children when not married and failing to pray on a Friday are other crimes.

Hollywood actor George Clooney has called for a boycott of nine hotels with links to Brunei.

The Sultan, one of the world's richest people, owns the Brunei Investment Agency which in turn owns hotels such as the Dorchester in London and the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.

"Every single time we stay at or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels, we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens," said Clooney.