George Clooney Calls for Boycott of Brunei Hotels over Anti-Gay Death Laws

MARCH 14: George Clooney testifies at the Senate Foreign Relations Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity hearing at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on March 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
Kris Connor/Getty Images

Actor George Clooney is calling for a boycott of hotels in Brunei, as well as hotels owned by companies based in the country, over new laws making homosexuality and adultery crimes punishable by death.

“On this particular April 3rd, the nation of Brunei will begin stoning and whipping to death any of its citizens that are proved to be gay. Let that sink in. In the onslaught of news where we see the world backsliding into authoritarianism this stands alone,” Clooney said in a public statement, according to the Hill.

Brunei, situated on the island of Borneo off the coast of Vietnam, recently announced a turn toward a stricter observance of Sharia law, which includes stoning and amputations for violations. Homosexuality was already punishable by ten years in prison, but now that penalty has been increased in some cases.

Brunei is set to become the first Asian country to punish homosexuality with the death penalty, mirroring the same harsh penalties seen in many Arab countries.

As Breitbart News reported, “the sultanate disregarded five years of criticism from international human rights groups and quietly issued court orders to proceed with Stage Two on April 3. Gays will be whipped, imprisoned for much longer sentences, and could be executed by stoning, although Brunei has recently been lax about actually carrying out death sentences.”

Clooney went on to recognize the “spectacular hotels” run by Brunei-based Brunei Investment Agency and called for a boycott of the facilities over the new laws.

“But let’s be clear,” Clooney wrote, “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.”

“Are we really going to help pay for these human rights violations? Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens?” Clooney asked.

Clooney concluded saying that supporters can help push the country to change its laws by putting pressure on its finances.

“I’ve learned over years of dealing with murderous regimes that you can’t shame them. But you can shame the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them and choose to look the other way,” Clooney concluded.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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