MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/CBS News) — Rep. Ilhan Omar is has introduced legislation in opposition to Brunei’s recent pronouncements that would execute people convicted of such things as homosexual intercourse and adultery.

The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, later walked statements back, saying that “For more than two decades, we have practiced a de facto moratorium on the execution of death penalty for cases under the common law.”

He claimed that the country would not enforce the execution of offenders.

However, Omar called the penal code revisions — which mandate stoning for multiple offenses that also include blasphemy and theft — “brutal and draconian.”

The laws, which came into full effect in April, generated global backlash, with protests made by the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and France. Celebrities like Elton John and George Clooney also denounced the laws.

Critics say that, even if execution by stoning is off the table, those sentenced under Brunei’s sharia laws can still face lengthy jail terms or caning. Women convicted of having sexual relations with other women face up to 40 strokes of the cane or a maximum 10-year jail term.

“These laws are anathema to our values as humans, and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” Omar said. “The new statutes will violate the human rights of women, children and the LGBTQ+ community. This brutality runs counter to universal values of respect for human rights and freedom for people to worship and love however they choose.  The United States has a duty to protect against this blatant disregard for humanity and the violation of basic rights wherever we see them.”

The bill, called the Brunei Human Rights Act, would mandate that any government official who actually implements the penal code would not be able to travel to or do business with the U.S., and would extend to any official from any other country enacting such punishments.

Comments (3)
  1. Omar is a gay Islamic. Nothing wrong with that, she should just be honest and come out.
    I think that is part of her problem. Omar, we all know you are gay, we ask that you just please be honest with us and your religion!