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Beverly Hills Council to Vote on Condemning Government of Brunei

Brunei
The Beverly Hills City Council is considering a resolution to condemn the government of Brunei in light of its policy against homosexuality. The ownership group of The Beverly Hills Hotel is allegedly affiliated with the government of Brunei. (Thinkstock)

In light of recent revelations of a formal policy held by the government of Brunei imposing harsh penalties on homosexuality, including death by stoning, the Beverly Hills City Council will vote on May 6 to condemn the Southeast Asian Islamic monarchy and encourage it to divest its interests in the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Beverly Hills mayor Lili Bosse requested the resolution be brought in front of the council.

“The government of Brunei, led by Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, has recently implemented extremely harsh laws that, in phases, will impose penalties including death by stoning for homosexuality and adultery,” the proposed resolution reads. “The laws would also allow flogging and severing limbs for theft and other offenses.”

According to City staff, the Beverly Hills City Council previously adopted a similar resolution in 2010 to condemn the government of Iran when a woman there was sentenced to death after being accused of adultery. The woman’s sentence was later reduced to 10 years, according to reports. City staff stated the reduction in sentencing “was attributed to international pressure.”

Brunei’s reported policy imposing penalties on homosexuality came to light when it was revealed the Dorchester Group, which owns the Beverly Hills Hotel, is affiliated with the monarchy located on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia.

City staff stated “several prominent individuals” have already boycotted all hotels owned by The Dorchester Group. Further, the United Nations “condemned the actions of the government of Brunei and urged Brunei to revisit its penal code,” according to City staff.

“The City’s actions are intended to contribute to the local and international outrage and help reverse policies and laws in Brunei that do not uphold international human rights,” the proposed resolution reads.

Bosse’s proposed resolution did try to acknowledge Brunei’s policy against homosexuals was not a reflection of those who worked at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

“While recognizing that the Dorchester Collection … is affiliated with the government of Brunei, the City of Beverly Hills has a productive relationship with the hotel that goes back more than 100 years,” the proposed resolution states. “The laws of Brunei do not affect the operation of the Beverly Hills Hotel and are no reflection on the hotel’s management and staff.”

Brunei, which took its current form in 1984 after declaring independence from the British, is a small sovereign nation bordered by Malaysia and the South China Sea. More than 400,000 people live in Brunei, which, according to Forbes, is one of the richest nations in the world.

The five-member Beverly Hills City Council will vote on the proposed resolution at its May 6 meeting, which begins at 7 p.m.

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