Hundreds protest outside The Dorchester hotel over Brunei gay death penalty
Hundreds gathered outside Brunei-owned The Dorchester hotel in London on Saturday afternoon (April 6) to protest against the country imposing the death penalty for gay sex.
Campaigners surrounded the five-star complex in Mayfair, at one point breaching barriers put up outside the hotel and storming onto the building’s steps.
The demonstration was organised after LGBT+ activists and celebrities—including George Clooney, Billie Jean King, and Ellen DeGeneres—advocated for people to boycott nine hotels owned by Brunei in protest against the draconian legislation.
As well as The Dorchester, these hotels include The Beverley Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, Le Meurice in Paris, and Hotel Eden in Rome.
Brunei implemented the strict Islamic legal system of sharia law on Wednesday (April 3), making gay sex between men punishable with death by stoning and lesbian sex carrying a sentence of 40 whips of the cane or a 10 year jail sentence.
Campaigners storm onto the steps of Brunei-owned The Dorchester to protest against gay sex death penalty
The Brunei Investment Agency—a government-owned corporation—possesses the hotels, which also include Plaza Athénée (Paris), Hotel Meurice (Paris), Principe di Savoia (Milan), Hotel Bel-Air (Los Angeles), Coworth Park (Ascot), and 45 Park Lane (London).
Activists chanted pro-LGBT+ phrases, including: “What do you want? LGBT rights! When do you want them? Now!,” and: “Homophobia has got to go.”
The demonstration was organised by The Peter Tatchell Foundation and Benali Hadamache, co-chair of The Green Party’s LGBT+ arm, LGBTIQA+ Greens.
“We are urging countries worldwide to suspend diplomatic, economic and military relations with Brunei and to threaten boycotts, sanctions and disinvestments if these extremist Sharia punishments are not revoked,” said Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner and director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
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