The first man charged for homosexuality in Brunei since it was criminalized

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Brunei introduced the Sharia law, which in part included criminalizing homosexual activity in all its shapes, in March 2019. Being called out by the international community, the country’s officials ensured that the law would be just a formal preventive measure. And now, less than a year after the law was enacted, we see the first conviction. The defendant has allegedly hired men for sex work, but took their minor possessions and refused to pay them. Bin Abdul Quddus Ong risks a jail term of three years, a fine, or both for each of the theft charges. As he is being tried in a Magistrate’s court, not the Sharia court, the death sentence cannot be imposed – but if the case is moved to a higher court this could change.

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