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Brunei backs down on gay sex death penalty

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Brunei backs down on gay sex death penalty | The Thaiger
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Brunei’s sultan now says that death by stoning for gay sex and adultery will not be enforced after a global backlash, but critics are still calling for harsh sharia laws to be completely abandoned in the tiny ASEAN country. The code, also punishing theft with amputation of hands and feet, came into force in April in the sultanate on the north of Borneo island.

Critics of the country’s newly enacted Islamic laws said several other harsh punishments remain on the books and are calling for continued opposition until the laws are completely revised.

In a speech last night the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah says a moratorium on capital punishment that already applies to Brunei’s harsh regular criminal code would also extend to its updated sharia code, which includes death by stoning for a number of crimes. The sultan made the first public comments about the matter and took the rare step of accepting and addressing criticism saying there had been “many questions and misperceptions” regarding the updated sharia laws.

The move to introduce harsh new Sharia laws sparked anger from governments and rights groups, the UN slammed it as a “clear violation” of human rights while celebrities led by actor George Clooney called for Brunei-owned hotels to be boycotted.

Some crimes in Muslim-majority Brunei including murder and drug-trafficking were already punishable with death by hanging under the regular criminal code – which is enforced alongside the sharia code – but no one has been executed for decades.

The Sultan said that “we have practised a de facto moratorium on the execution of death penalty for cases under the common law.

The maximum punishment for gay sex between men under the sharia code is death by stoning, but perpetrators can also be sentenced to lengthy jail terms or caning. Women convicted of having sexual relations with other women face up to 40 strokes of the cane or a maximum 10 year jail term.

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Crime

Kanchanaburi police officer’s twin sons arrested for trafficking methamphetamines

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Kanchanaburi police officer’s twin sons arrested for trafficking methamphetamines | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Matichon News

Twin sons of a Thai police officer have been arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine, according to Thai-language daily Matichon. The arrests were made yesterday.

Thai army and border patrol Police stopped a car driven by the two 20 year old twins at a routine checkpoint in western Thailand. A routine search of the vehicle uncovered 2,000 methamphetamine tables in 4 separate containers.

The twins told police that a Burmese person told him to fetch the drugs from the Phaya Tongsoo Village in Myanmar, just across the border from the Sangkhlaburi district in Kanchanburi A Burmese man later took one of the twins across the border to a temple, where he received 2,000 methamphetamine pills.

The father of the twins is a Thai police officer who had served in Sangkhla Buri and Thong Phapoom districts in Kanchanaburi. He is now working at the Office of Police Region 9, accord to Matichon News.

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Thailand

Migrant workers risk losing their legal status, the Cabinet to extend work permit amnesty

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Migrant workers risk losing their legal status, the Cabinet to extend work permit amnesty | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Frontier Myanmar

Over 1.7 million migrant workers in Thailand are going to lose their legal working status because they can’t submit work permit renewal and a health certificate with Covid-19 test results in time. The Labour Ministry then proposes the cabinet will extend the registration period (amnesty) for migrant workers to help maintain their legal status. Migrant workers, including those illegal and unemployed workers, are required to register with authorities via the ministry’s website from January 15 until February 13.

According to the Labour Minister, every migrant worker to renew their work permit must receive a Covid-19 test at hospitals designated by the Public Health Ministry. The Department of Medical Sciences will be responsible for the testing costs.

Illegal and unemployed workers, who registered with the Ministry, will be allowed to stay in the Kingdom for 2 years without penalties. Only those migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar are allowed to overstay their current visas, but are required to register with the provincial employment office in the area they work, as part of the amnesty.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Myanmar cancels Thai investment in the Dawei Special Economic Zone

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Myanmar cancels Thai investment in the Dawei Special Economic Zone | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Environment Justice Atlas

The Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee has announced the cancellation on the deep seaport project contract with Italian-Thai Development (ITD), one of Thailand’s leading industrial firms, by saying that they “lost confidence” in the company after long, controversial issues.

The Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee said that the Thai company has caused them “repeated delays, continuing breaches of financial obligations under the contracts and the concessionaires’ failure to confirm their financial capacity to proceed with development”.

They say they will look for new development partners to continue the projects. Currently, there are still no comments from ITD.

The Dawei Special Economic Zone is Myanmar’s initiative to encourage international investments into the country, but the project has been delayed because of funding problems and local opposition.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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