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George Clooney boycotts Brunei hotels over anti-LGBT ‘death by stoning’ law

Patrick Kelleher March 29, 2019
George Clooney boycotts Brunei’s hotels over anti-LGBT laws

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

George Clooney is planning to boycott Brunei owned hotels after the country introduced new laws that would see people whipped and stoned to death for same-sex activity.

In an op-ed for Deadline, Clooney said he and others have boycotted hotels owned by the Brunei Investment Agency in the past for the country’s anti-LGBT laws, but said the focus had “died down” in recent years in the face of other issues.

However, he has called on people across the world to again boycott hotels owned by the group after Brunei introduced its new anti-LGBT laws this week.

Clooney said that he has stayed in hotels owned by the group in the past as he was not aware at the time who owned them.

George Clooney: ‘Are we really going to help pay for these human rights violations?’

The actor has now named nine hotels owned by the group and said he would not be staying in them again.

“Every single time we stay at or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery,” Clooney said.

George Clooney boycotts Brunei hotels over anti-LGBT laws
Rachel Murray/Getty

He continued: “Brunei is a Monarchy and certainly any boycott would have little effect on changing these laws. But are we really going to help pay for these human rights violations? Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens?”

“Every single time we stay at or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery.”

– George Clooney

The hotels listed by Clooney are reportedly owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, which is owned by the Sultan of Brunei.

Anti-LGBT laws in Brunei

Homosexuality was illegal in Brunei even before this week’s changes to the country’s penal code, and up until now, was punished by up to 10 years in prison.

In 2014, the country introduced Islamic criminal law and announced the first of three stages of legal changes. At the time, those changes meant that people could be punished for failing to pray on Fridays and for getting pregnant outside of marriage.

The final two stages—which were delayed after international backlash—were delayed, but are now reportedly being introduced.

In a Facebook post, human rights group The Brunei Project said the laws were being introduced with “secrecy” and said they would have a detrimental impact on the country’s LGBT+ population.

“At the time of writing this post, most people in Brunei remain unaware that the SPC is scheduled to be fully implemented in less than two weeks,” they said.

“Among the punishments will be the amputation of limbs for theft, the death penalty for apostasy, and a range of punishments for those found guilty of engaging in sexual activity with members of the same gender and adultery.”

Human rights group the ASEAN SOGIE Caucus said the they had seen government documents confirming that the laws were set to be introduced, according to Reuters.

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