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King’s College London says removing Sultan of Brunei's award over LGBT rights would 'represent uncharted territory'


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Earlier this month, Brunei implemented the death penalty for gay sex and adultery. The offenders, under this new law, will be stoned to death. 

Other offences under the Sharia-law, including theft, will be punishable by cutting the hand.

Image Credit: Poppet with a camera via Flickr

Universities around the UK have been challenged to sever ties with the nation, most notably by removing Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's honorary degrees.

Currently, the Sultan holds honorary degrees from King's College London (KCL) and Oxford University.

Both universities are reviewing their decisions. The Chairman of KCL, Lord Geidt, revealed that the university would invite the Sultan to respond to the recommended course of action by the Fellowships and Honorary Degrees Committee. 

In the statement, KCL says it will formally review the award but warns that 'great significance' is attached to such awards and that 'the removal of which would represent uncharted territory.' 

The statement further explains that the Council 'will consider both the Committee's recommendation and any response from the Sultan before reaching its own decision.'

Last week, Aberdeen University officially rescinded the honorary degree that was awarded to the Sultan in 1995.

In a statement, Aberdeen's Principal and Vice-Chancellor George Boyne explained that the honour was awarded 'at a time when the University had operated a successful exchange programme with its counterpart in Brunei, and when the Sultan encouraged links between Brunei and Aberdeen due to his interest in our geology and petroleum engineering research.' 

More to follow. 

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