Amnesty slams Brunei's new 'vicious' Islamic criminal laws

Amnesty International has slammed plans by Brunei to implement what the rights group calls "vicious" Islamic criminal laws such as stoning to death for gay sex and amputation for theft.

Amnesty says the new penalties, which also apply to children, are provided for in new sections under Brunei's Sharia Penal Code and will come into effect April 3.

Brunei's sultan instituted the Sharia Penal Code in 2014 to bolster the influence of Islam in the tiny, oil-rich monarchy, which has long been known for conservative policies such as banning the public sale of liquor.

Amnesty on Wednesday called the new laws "cruel and inhuman" and urged the sultanate to "immediately halt its plans to implement these vicious punishments."