Brunei's Brutal New Penal Code Elicits Celebrities Boycotts

Brunei's Brutal New Penal Code Punishes Gay People By Stoning To Death

Defining being gay as a crime is appalling; likewise that a country would sentence gay people to stoning at this point in time.

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Recently, many celebrities, including Ellen DeGeneres and Elton John, have taken to social media to urge a boycott of certain hotels. These hotels are owned by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah. The purpose of the boycott is to protest Brunei's new penal code, which employs overly harsh punishments for acts that are normally not regarded as crimes.

Most notably, people can be stoned to death for having gay sex or an extramarital affair.

More specifically, stoning is used for gay men, while sex between two women is punished by whipping. Adultery, anal sex, and abortion will also be punished by stoning. Other punishments include amputation of limbs for theft and the death penalty for rape or heresy. It's clear why these celebrities are outraged at Brunei's new law.

The news of Brunei's penal code comes as a shock, especially in 2019. The law employs punishments that are very much outdated and easily defined as barbaric. Furthermore, these punishments apply to anyone who has reached puberty, even those who are considered minors by Western standards, and young children can still be whipped as punishment. These punishments are needlessly brutal. Punishments such as the amputation of limbs are irreversible and leave a permanent impact on a person for even a minor transgression.

The actions included in the penal code do not warrant such harsh punishments. Criminalizing sexual identity is appalling, likewise that a country would sentence gay people to stoning at this point in time. This seems to be the main focus of the celebrities who have spoken out against Brunei, and for good reason. While steps have been made worldwide towards equal rights for members of the LGBTQ+ community, Brunei's penal code is a huge step backward.

While it's good to keep the list of hotels to boycott in mind, for those of us who aren't traveling very often, the best thing to do is to speak out and bring attention to the injustice of Brunei's penal code. The penal code was initially delayed by international protest, and spreading the word and making Brunei's law widely known can make the difference in pressuring the country to change the law. This is an issue that requires immediate attention and action.

Brunei's penal code is unjust and a hindrance to the progress being made towards marriage equality and LGBTQ+ rights.

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13 Signs You Grew Up In The 2000s

Get ready to feel nostalgic
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The 2000s, generally referred to as the decade falling between 2000 and 2009. However, these 10 years were so much more dear to our hearts and definitely cannot be limited to this simplified definition. From hopes that you had the best kooky pen collection, to dreaming about making it to see the year 3000, there was never a dull moment. So, put on those terry cloth sweatpants, charge up that nano iPod, and read about the signs that prove you grew up in the best decade:

1. You might have jammed out to “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne on your nano IPod

Yes you had one, and your playlists consisted of the best songs the 2000s had to offer; All American Rejects, Fall Out Boy, The Killers and of course Avril Lavigne.

2. You treated your tamagotchi as if it were your child

This hand held digital pet probably occupied a little too much of your time. You spent your days feeding it scones and watching them reach a new life cycle.

3. Your wardrobe consisted of every color Juicy sweatsuit and Ed hardy tees...

Thank god these terrycloth outfits made a comeback!... Right?

4. ... Oh, and gauchos, you LOVED gauchos

These pants took over your wardrobe before yoga pants came into your life. Gauchos flooded the playground in pink, blue and tie-dye. I miss you gauchos.

5. You had the debate with your friends over whether Webkinz or Club Penguin was better, but you begged your parents for a membership to both

As soon as you logged onto your account your afternoon was booked up. While on your Webkinz you visited the curio shop, got a checkup with Dr. Quack, made a hamburger in the employment office and played cash cow in the arcade.

6. Your friends always had these in their pantry

At the end of a long, hard day of multiplication, going to your friends house for a playdate and indulging in a cosmic brownie was a necessity.

7. This was your first experience with makeup, and a cell phone

This accessory gave the lyrics "my lipgloss is cool my lipgloss be poppin" a whole new meaning. Pretending to answer the phone while smearing your lips in every color imaginable; this was the perfect mix of feeling like you were a teenager while also staying true to your child like self.

8. Lizzie Mcguire was the first ever Bitmoji

You watched her on Disney Channel as Lizzie McGuire, admired her fashion sense, and sang to "Hey Now" an endless amount of times. Hillary Duff was the definition of goals.

9. The auctioning off of silly bandz in elementary school was basically Wallstreet

The must have accessory of the 2000s.

10. You would beg your mom to buy you lunchables when you walked down the frozen food isle

Looking back on it now, eating these was probably not the best idea.

11. You had a favorite Jonas Brother

And it was NEVER Kevin.

12. You dreamed of riding around in a JetX just like the kids in PCA

You put getting a JetX on your To-Do list right under making a key necklace.

13. Instead of homework, your after school activities consisted of watching THE BEST Disney Channel and Nickelodeon shows

Disney Channel and Nickelodeon will sadly never be the same. Classics include: Hannah Montana, Ned's Declassified, Suite Life of Zack and Cody and That's so Raven.

Don't you want to just go back in time and bask in the simple days where all you cared about was how good your blue eyeshadow looked and when the next Disney Channel Original movie would come on?

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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Dear Bangladesh, Do Not Let Nusrat Jahan Rafi's Death Be In Vain

Her death should be used to propel a new beginning for Bangladesh.

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Nusrat Jahan Rafi is a name that should be remembered. She had the courage to stand up for herself in a country where women's rights are not a priority. Unfortunately, in Bangladesh, sexual harassment is commonplace and often times victims receive no justice. It's an issue that's not taken seriously by cops and is brushed off. Women are shamed, instead of men. They are blamed and often receive threats. Their situation is more likely than not made worse when they report sexual harassment.

Nusrat Jahan Rafi filed a sexual harassment report against her principal, who had touched her inappropriately. She took her case to the police and was illegally recorded by the officer in charge of the case. The police officer showed no kind of empathy whatsoever, telling her that it was "no big deal." The video was then posted on social media, garnering attention. After this, the principal was arrested but instead of receiving justice for her situation, Nusrat Jahan Rafi's life was made worse.

After filing the report, there were protests led by male students demanding the principal be released from jail. Nusrat Jahan Rafi went to the police to receive some kind of help and to put a bad man in jail. Instead of this, she received no kind of understanding and a negative amplification of her situation.

On April 6th, Nusrat Jahan Rafi went to school to take her final exams, but instead, she was met with her horrifying death. She went up to the rooftop of her school to help her friend who was allegedly getting beat up, but instead, she was doused in kerosene by four people wearing burqas and demanded by them to drop her harassment charge against the principal. She then died at the hospital after her body had been 80% burned.

Nusrat Jahan Rafi did not get the justice she deserved during her lifetime, but her death should not be in vain. Her death should be used to propel a new beginning for Bangladesh. She was brave enough to stand up for herself and take on a system that is already so against women. Her murder deserves justice. This gruesome and heartbreaking case should be a wake-up call for Bengali authorities and the people of Bangladesh, and how the country handles sexual harassment. She should be remembered and her name should never be forgotten.

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