Sultan of Brunei returns Oxford University degree

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The University of Oxford has confirmed Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has handed back his honorary Civil Law degree, awarded in 1993, after it reached out to him regarding the introduction of Sharia law, according to which homosexuality is not only illegal (it had already been so before in this country), but worth capital punishment. Following the introduction of the law, more than 118,000 people signed a petition calling for the university to revoke the sultan’s honorary degree. Oxford MP Layla Moran said the university needed to “undertake a thorough review of their honorary degree system to avoid similar backlash in future. A statement released by the university said it would “reconsider this decision through our established process in light of the information now available.” As an institution deeply committed to equality, diversity and individual rights we understand and share the concerns of our students and staff who have expressed abhorrence at recent developments in Brunei and would like to disassociate from them,” the university said.

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