Demonstration Held At Brunei Owned Dorchester Hotel In London

Rainbow flags, banners and placards lined the street outside the Dorchester hotel, owned by the Sultan of Brunei, as protesters chanted "Shame on you".

Demonstration Held At Brunei Owned Dorchester Hotel In London
Image: Sophie Hogan, PA

A demonstration was held at the Dorchester Hotel in London over the weekend. The hotel is owned by the Sultan of Brunei who last week implemented Sharia law that will punish gay sex and adultery by death.

Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation, who helped Benali Hadamache of the LGBTIQA+ Greens co-ordinate the protest said, “Nearly 400 hundred people rallied outside the Dorchester Hotel in London on Saturday 6 April to protest against Brunei’s enactment of death by stoning for homosexuality, adultery and insulting the prophet Mohammad. At one point, they broke through the hotel’s barriers and peacefully besieged the front doors, shouting ‘F*ck the Sultan’ and demanding he rescind the death penalty.

“Hundreds of rainbow-coloured stones were dumped on the hotel’s steps and anti-Sultan slogans were scrawled on the forecourt. A rainbow flag was hoisted on the hotel’s veranda, to ecstatic cheers from the crowd.”

Riyadh Khalaf took part in the demonstration and told PinkNews why he was taking part:

“Every LGBT person, no matter what part of the world they’re in, they are a brother, they are a sister, and they are a sibling and we find ourselves in a country that is incredibly open and understanding and affords us freedom.

“People in Brunei? Obviously not so much. So it’s our duty to stand side by side with them and send a message to the world that we don’t take any shit.”

A number of organisations also announced that they will be cutting ties with hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei.

 

Demonstration Held At Brunei Owned Dorchester Hotel In London
Protester’s placard at the Dorchester Hotel demonstration

 

The TV Choice Awards which is usually held in the Dorchester Hotel announced the ceremony will not take place in the luxury hotel and will instead move to a new venue.

Since the new laws were enacted, Brunei has faced considerable backlash from the European Union and Amnesty International. A number of MPs in the UK have called for Brunei to be removed from the Commonwealth.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Patricia Scotland says she “strongly urged” the Brunei government to repeal the law.

Brunei has “committed itself to uphold the values and principles of the Commonwealth Charter which underscores a commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant human rights covenants and international instruments,” she said.

All Brunei owned hotels deleted their social media accounts last week amid the global outcry with Irish Twitter joining the calls for a boycott of all Brunei owned hotels.

“This isn’t some obscure debate about LGBTI rights,” said journalist Peter McGuire. “This is solely about the right of gay people not to be buried to their neck and having stones thrown at their head until they die.”

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