Global Women’s Rights Awards pulls event from Brunei-owned hotel over ‘Taliban-like’ stoning law

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The organisers of the Global Women’s Rights Awards have pulled their event from the Brunei-owned Beverly Hills Hotel, after the country introduced a law calling for gays to be stoned to death.

The May 5 event, which is due to be hosted by Jay and Mavis Leno, will now be held at a rival hotel.

A press release from the Feminist Majority Foundation said: “The hotel’s owner, the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, is imposing a Taliban-like Brunei penal code.

“Instead of holding its annual event at the hotel on May 5, FMF has joined with gay and lesbian groups in protesting this gross violation of human rights and will hold a rally at noon on May 5 across from the hotel.”

The group’s president Eleanor Smeal said: “We cannot hold a human rights and women’s rights event at a hotel whose owner would institute a penal code that fundamentally violates women’s rights and human rights.”

The law, which is set to be phased in from tomorrow, replaces the maximum ten-year prison sentence for homosexuality with death by stoning.

A host of celebrities including Stephen FryEllen DeGeneres and Sharon Osbourne have called for a boycott of the Brunei-owned Dorchester Collection.

The FMF have also launched a petition, which reads: “I urge you to rescind the announced new penal code that includes the stoning of gay men and lesbians and public flogging of women who have had abortions.

“These laws violate basic principles of human rights. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed deep concern about the proposed laws and has clearly stated that they are a violation of international law. “