Health professions alliance condemns new Brunei laws


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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The World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) has condemned new laws recently put in place in Brunei which impose death by stoning for adultery and anal sex, as well as amputations for theft and public flogging for abortion.

In a statement, the WHPA, which represents 31 million health professionals around the world, condemned the new laws which it considers to be "inhumane and discriminatory and in breach of international human rights agreements".

Earlier this month, the United Nations’ top human rights official, Michelle Bachelet, warned the new penal code would enshrine "cruel and inhuman punishments". In a statement, Bachelet urged Brunei to abandon the "draconian" new penal code, which she said would mark a serious setback for human rights protections for the people of Brunei if implemented. 

Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, said the "extreme and unjustified punishments will drive people underground and out of reach of life-saving HIV treatment and prevention services".

Meanwhile, Otmar Kloiber, Secretary General of the World Medical Association has warned all physicians in Brunei that participating in such punishments, “even advising or preparing for, would constitute a gross violation of medical ethics".

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