A number of charities have joined the boycott of London’s Dorchester Hotel, by cancelling events due to be held there.

The moves follow the new Sharia penal code imposed on his people by the hotel’s owner, the Sultan of Brunei, which now prescribes the barbaric stoning to death of those convicted of homosexual practices or adultery. These inhuman punishments, more torture than just execution, have caused widespread revulsion and condemnation around the world.

Charities cancelling their events at the Dorchester include Headway, the brain injury association, which has held its annual awards event there for the last 15 years and which has described the Sultan’s actions as “abhorrent” and stated that they believe in “equality for all, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexuality. The Holocaust Educational Trust will not be holding its fundraising dinners there in future and say that the Sultan’s new punishments are at odds with “a charity promoting tolerance and fighting prejudice in all its forms”. And Magon David Adom UK, which raises money for Israel’s emergency services has stated that the “ongoing human rights issues” in Brunei contradict their “core humanitarian values as a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross” and that they will be “actively seeking an alternative venue” for their events.

The Sultan has written to the European parliament pleading for “tolerance, respect and understanding” over the issue.

UPDATE The Sultan of Brunei has now ruled that the death penalty for homosexuality will not be carried out by his state. Under current laws the “crime” is still punishable by up to ten years in prison.

In some countries where stoning is customary but not legal, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, the murder has been carried out extrajudicially by militants and tribal leaders. Other countries where stoning is either customary or legal are Mauritania, northern Nigeria, tribal parts of Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

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