Hotels of Brunei's Sultan Delete Social Media Accounts

Published April 4th, 2019 - 10:20 GMT
Brunei's sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. (ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Brunei's sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. (ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The hotel group owned by the Brunei sultan who supports stoning gay men to death has been ridiculed for saying it 'supports' diversity as it deleted its social media accounts.

Celebrities including George Clooney, Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres have called for a boycott of the hotels owned by the tiny country across the globe in protest over the strict Sharia law.

The new laws, which will also impose death by stoning for rape and amputations for theft, have been condemned by the United Nations.

The Dorchester Collection, which owns and manages each of these hotels for the Brunei Investment Agency, said in a statement on Twitter that it 'does not tolerate any form of discrimination'.

But social media users ridiculed the statement on Twitter, saying it seems 'hollow'.

Peter McGuire asked: 'How can you say you don't tolerate any form of discrimination when your owner murders gay people by stoning? Is it fine for Brunei but not for the UK?'

Seth Darby added: '"In light of recent events"? Honestly? You write this as if you’ve been the victim of a terrible injustice.

'Where are the public statements from your staff and management condemning your owner and his brutal regime? Not. Good. Enough.'

Explaining that it had chosen to delete the accounts because of abuse directed at its employees, it went on to say that it 'strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees'.

Another user said: 'No staff members should be abused, but have a think about what you said about inclusivity & diversity.

'Let's be clear, you are funded by a nation where children are whipped and gay people are now stoned to death. Inclusivity, respect, integrity...just keep the cash rolling in...'

Social media pages for The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane in London, Coworth Park in Aston, The Beverly Hills Hotel, Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, Le Meurice and Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris and the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan have all been deleted.

The Hotel Eden in Rome has made its Twitter account private.

Brunei first announced the measures in 2013, but implementation has been delayed in the face of opposition by rights groups, and as officials worked out the practical details.

The new law stipulates the death penalty for a number of offences, including rape, adultery, sodomy, robbery and insulting or defaming the Prophet Mohammed.

It also introduces public flogging as punishment for abortion, as well as amputation for theft, and criminalizes exposing Muslim children to the beliefs and practices of any religion besides Islam.

Mr Clooney penned an opinion piece for Deadline calling for a boycott of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's hotels earlier this week.

He said: 'They're nice hotels. The people who work there are kind and helpful and have no part in the ownership of these properties.

'But let's be clear, every single time we stay at or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery.

He then listed the nine hotels owned by Brunei's sultan and said: 'It's up to each of us what we want to do.'

UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said in a statement that the country should maintain its long tradition of not applying the death penalty - which it has not imposed since 1957.

'I appeal to the government to stop the entry into force of this draconian new penal code, which would mark a serious setback for human rights protections for the people of Brunei if implemented,' Bachelet said.

Bachelet also stressed that international law imposes very stringent restrictions on the use of the death penalty, which can only be applied for the crimes of murder and intentional killing, and only after all due process requirements have been met.

The Dorchester Collection has been contacted for comment.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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