Banks and big businesses worldwide are boycotting hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei on account of that country’s new law that sentences gays to death for homosexual acts.
P. Morgan Chase & Co., the largest bank in the United States, has joined a rapidly growing number of banks and other business firms boycotting nine international hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah.
Bolkiah wholeheartedly approved a new Shariah-inspired penal code that sentences people convicted of gay sex or adultery to death by stoning.
J.P. Morgan, The Goldman Sachs Group, Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, CitiGroup, Jefferies, Morgan Stanley and Nomura, among other banks have forbidden their employees from staying at hotels owned by the sultan of Brunei while traveling for business.
Other businesses supporting the boycott are TV Choice magazine, the Financial Times and STA Travel, the world’s largest travel company for students and young people.
Bolkiah controls the Dorchester Collection hotel group based in London. These luxury hotels that are part of Dorchester consist of The Dorchester (London), The Beverly Hills Hotel (Beverly Hills), Plaza Athénée (Paris), Hotel Meurice (Paris), Principe di Savoia (Milan), Hotel Bel-Air (Los Angeles), Coworth Park (southwest of London), 45 Park Lane (London) and Hotel Eden.
Bolkiah has come out publicly to champion and praise the harsh law, which came into full effect last April 3. The law metes out death to both citizens and non-citizens of Brunei, a tiny but oil rich country on the island of Borneo. Those found guilty of offenses under the code will be stoned to death, “witnessed by a group of Muslims.”
Brunei’s Shariah-inspired penal code was rolled out in three stages starting May 1, 2014.
“Today…I place my faith in and am grateful to Allah the almighty to announce that tomorrow, Thursday 1 May 2014, will see the enforcement of Sharia law phase one, to be followed by the other phases,” announced Bolkiah on April 30, 2014.
The United Nations immediately voiced “deep concern” about the planned change to the old penal code. It urged Brunei to delay the changes so they could be reviewed to make sure they complied with international human rights standards.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called the new Shariah-inspired laws cruel and inhumane punishments that breach international human rights laws.
Popular English singer and composer Sir Elton John immediately slammed the law after it came into full effect, and called for a worldwide boycott of hotels owned by Bolkiah. His call has since been taken up by other celebrities such as actor George Clooney, comedian Ellen DeGeneres, and tennis star Billie Jean King.
“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,” said Clooney.
He also said while you can’t shame “murderous regimes,” you can “shame the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them and choose to look the other way.”
“We need to do something now,” DeGeneres wrote on Instagram. “Raise your voices now. Spread the word. Rise up.”
This article originally appeared in IBTimes US.
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