The social media accounts of Brunei-owned luxury hotels have been either removed, or made inaccessible following widespread outrage over the country’s horrific LGBT rights record.
This week, a new Sharia Penal Code was implemented in Brunei, meaning gay and extramarital sex will now be punishable by flogging or stoning a person to death.
This shocking law has been widely condemned by human rights activists and celebrities alike, with many people using social media as a platform to express their repulsion.
Following the heavy criticism, the Twitter accounts of eight of the nine Dorchester Collection hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei have reportedly been deleted or deactivated.
The ninth hotel – Italy’s Hotel Principe di Savoia – is reportedly still active but is ‘protected’, meaning the tweets are not visible.
The Dorchester Collection – which manages these nine hotels – has tweeted the following message of explanation:
Dorchester Collection is an inclusive and diverse company and does not tolerate any form of discrimination.
Although we believe in open and transparent communication, we have reluctantly deactivated our hotel social pages due to the personal abuse directed at our employees for whom we have a duty of care.
Our corporate social media pages remain in place. Dorchester Collection’s Code emphasises equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees.
In light of recent events. pic.twitter.com/a8SoivIrX7
— DorchesterCollection (@DC_LuxuryHotels) April 3, 2019
A worldwide boycott of the Dorchester Collection hotel group has been led by singer Elton John and actor George Clooney, with a tweet by comedian and presenter Ellen DeGeneres firing up further support.
As reported by the Financial Times, multiple high-profile events have been pulled from London’s The Dorchester, in wake of the boycott.
Deputy Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International, Stephen Cockburn, made the following statement on the Amnesty International website:
We are extremely concerned these heinous punishments have become law in Brunei today. This new penal code allows punishments such as amputation or death by stoning which are unspeakably cruel and have no place anywhere in the world.
We are alarmed the code criminalizes behaviour that should not be considered crimes at all. The international community must continue to condemn Brunei’s decision to put these cruel penalties into practice.
The Brunei authorities must refrain from implementing these laws, and must take necessary steps to repeal this unacceptable legislation and bring it in line with international human rights laws and standards.
Tomorrow, the country of #Brunei will start stoning gay people to death. We need to do something now. Please boycott these hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Raise your voices now. Spread the word. Rise up. pic.twitter.com/24KJsemPGH
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 2, 2019
My thoughts are with the LGBT community of Brunei following this inhumane new penal code.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.