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Universal Periodic Review Working Group – 19th Session
Universal Periodic Review of Brunei Darussalam
Statement by Australia
2 May 2014
Australia commends Brunei on the high standard of living provided for its citizens and residents, including its commitment to health care and education.
To further strengthen Brunei’s human rights framework, Australia recommends Brunei accede to the ICCPR, the ICESCR, the CAT, and the Rome Statute of the ICC.
Australia holds serious concerns about Brunei’s decision to introduce a Syariah Penal Code and the impact on freedom of religion, the status of women, and the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. Australia recommends Brunei implements the Code in a manner consistent with international human rights standards. Australia further recommends Brunei reconsider the use of corporal and capital punishment under the Code.
Australia commends Brunei’s longstanding de facto moratorium on the death penalty, but is concerned that the introduction of the Code may see executions resume. Australia recommends Brunei maintain a moratorium and ultimately move to abolish the death penalty in law.
Australia is concerned about limitations on freedom of expression and freedom of association in Brunei. Australia recommends reforms to Bruneian laws and policies, such as the Sedition Act, to ensure consistency with international standards.