The United Nations has condemned Brunei's new 'cruel and inhuman' laws imposing death by stoning for gay sex, and amputations for theft.
UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said in a statement that the country should maintain its long tradition of not applying the death penalty - which it has not imposed since 1957.
'I appeal to the government to stop the entry into force of this draconian new penal code, which would mark a serious setback for human rights protections for the people of Brunei if implemented,' Bachelet said.
Bachelet also stressed that international law imposes very stringent restrictions on the use of the death penalty, which can only be applied for the crimes of murder and intentional killing, and only after all due process requirements have been met.
UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet appealed to the government of Brunei to repeal the 'draconian' laws
'In reality, no judiciary in the world can claim to be mistake-free, and evidence shows that the death penalty is disproportionately applied against people who are already vulnerable, with a high risk of miscarriages of justice,' Bachelet added.
'I urge Brunei to maintain its de facto moratorium on the use of capital punishment.'
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also warned that the new laws could encourage violence and discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation and religious affiliation.
'Any religion-based legislation must not violate human rights, including the rights of those belonging to the majority religion as well as of religious minorities and non-believers,' she said.
Brunei, a Muslim-majority former British protectorate with a population of around 400,000, will implement the new Islamic laws from April 3, punishing sodomy, adultery and rape with the death penalty, and theft with amputation.
Brunei, a Muslim-majority former British protectorate with a population of around 400,000, will implement the new Islamic