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Commonwealth Secretary-General welcomes Brunei death penalty moratorium

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Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has welcomed reports the government of Brunei Darussalam has placed a full moratorium on the death penalty, inclusive of the Syariah Penal Code Order (SPCO).

The SPCO, which came into effect on 3 April, introduced punishments such as the death penalty, amputation and public flogging.

She said, “I have been in contact with the government of Brunei Darussalam both before and after April 3, strongly urging it to reconsider the implementation of these harsh punishments. I am delighted the death penalty has been removed and that the de facto moratorium which has been in place for more than two decades, will also cover the SPCO.  I encourage Brunei to also revoke the other harsh punishments under the SPCO, including amputation and flogging.

“I also urge the government to positively consider full ratification of the UN Convention Against Torture. Brunei will undergo its third cycle Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva on 10 May. This is an opportunity for the country to strengthen its commitment to international human rights law and standards, while its human rights record is being reviewed. The Commonwealth Secretariat is already supporting a number of small states with their UPR process and is ready and willing to offer Brunei any technical assistance and support it requires.”

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