An anti-government Bruneian online forum has shared an Instagram post allegedly written by Prince Aleem of Brunei which strongly criticizes the country’s new anti-LGBT+ laws.
The legislation enacted on April 3 means that Bruneian citizens convicted of engaging in any form of same-sex activity will be subject to punishment by whipping, or the death-penalty which is usually carried out by stoning.
International Human Rights organisations have condemned the new laws, saying they break the UN convention against torture as well as international human rights agreements.
Prince Aleem voiced his opposition in an Instagram post:
“In light of the recent news surrounding Brunei, I feel as a Bruneian, I should address this: I have had so many messages surrounding this topic and I believe addressing it will hopefully put some light on the situation. All views are my own.
“Despite not being part of the LGBQT+ community myself, I have met so many people who are part of it. I can easily say they are some of the best and nicest people I’ve ever met. If we go back to 2013, the same article was present. From what I’ve been told, it may not be true, but I’ve been lied to and disappointed before.
“This, if this news is to be true, I will be very disappointed. No one should be judged and punished for living their life the way they want to live it. Those in the community deserves better and not to be treated like animals.
“We are all human after all. Why judge someone because of their race, religion, and sexuality. It’s 2019 and the world hasn’t changed much. I do not understand some people and their ideology. You talk about human rights, but this is not human rights? By judging someone like this proves hypocrisy. I do not stand by it whatsoever.
“I am so sorry for those who are affected or feel looked down on.”
The post has been met with astonishment given the historical absence of dissension among the Bruneian royal family.
The implementation of these new laws serves as a massive blow to the LGBT+ community and the progress of movement for equality in general, although the decision by Prince Aleem to speak out indicates a supportive presence from within the monarchy.
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