In an act of defiance, and condemnation against new laws that enable authorities to enact capital punishment on homosexuality in Brunei, around 400 people protested outside the Dorchester Hotel in London on the weekend.
The hotel which is one of nine luxury hotels across the globe that is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency which is in turn owned by Brunei’s monarch, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.
According to reports, the protestors who were described as peaceful even managed to breach the hotel’s barriers and demonstrate at the front doors.
Along with chanting which included “F*ck the Sultan,” hundreds of rainbow-coloured stones were dumped on the hotel’s steps and anti-Sultan slogans were scrawled on the forecourt. A rainbow flag was also raised on the hotel’s veranda
The protest was in direct response to new Sharia law penalties that came into force in Brunei recently that included whipping, torture, and death by stoning for same-sex acts.
“The Sultan is enforcing the same barbaric stonings enacted by ISIS in Syria and Iraq,” said Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
“Brunei needs to be isolated by governments and consumers worldwide through a combination of boycotts, disinvestment, and sanctions. We need to show the Sultan that his brutal, inhuman policies have a financial cost. Our goal is to hit him in the pocket where it hurts,” Tatchell explained.
Boycotts of the sultan’s hotels have also been called for by celebrities such as George Clooney, Elton John, and Ellen DeGeneres, who all condemn the major step backwards by the nation.