U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review for Brunei Darussalam

U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review for Brunei Darussalam

33rd Session, May 10, 2019

as delivered by Anna Palladino

The United States welcomes the delegation of Brunei Darussalam.

We recommend that Brunei:

  1. Repeal criminal penalties under the Sharia Penal Code Order of 2013 that undermine the freedoms of religion and expression and prohibitions on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and would have a detrimental impact on a number of vulnerable groups, including women at risk of violence, religious and ethnic minorities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons.
  2. Repeal the emergency powers and the Sedition Act and protect the freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly.
  3. Strengthen efforts to identify and protect victims of labor and sex trafficking and hold traffickers accountable, including by acceding to the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons and the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons.

We are strongly concerned that, if fully implemented, Brunei’s Sharia Penal Code Order of 2013 would contravene Brunei’s international human rights obligations and commitments.

We are encouraged by the Sultan’s May 5 decision to immediately extend Brunei’s de facto moratorium on the death penalty to include stoning under the Sharia Penal Code, and to ratify the Convention Against Torture.  We urge the Government of Brunei to follow through on ratifying the Convention Against Torture, and to sign and ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  We are also concerned that migrant workers remain vulnerable to forced labor and debt bondage.