- Actor George Clooney is urging consumers to boycott nine hotels linked to the country of Brunei over its plans to impose harsh new criminal sentences.
- The penalties being implemented, based on Islamic law, include death by stoning for gays and amputation for theft.
- Clooney admitted he's stayed in some of the luxury hotels owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, saying he "hadn't done his homework."
- Amnesty International has condemned Brunei's new penal code as "cruel and inhuman."
Actor George Clooney is calling for a boycott of nine luxury hotels owned by the Brunei Investment Agency over Brunei's, such death by stoning for gay sex.
In an opinion piece in Deadline.com, Clooney said a boycott is necessary to keep money from flowing "directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery." Among the nine hotels owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, which is owned by the Brunei government, are U.S. hotels The Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air.
Clooney noted that he's stayed at many of the hotels owned by Brunei, a small nation located on the island of Borneo, but said he was unaware of their ownership "because I hadn't done my homework." He acknowledged that a boycott is unlikely to change Brunei's laws, but said consumers must decide whether they want their money to support laws that violate human rights.
"Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens?" he wrote. "I've learned over years of dealing with murderous regimes that you can't shame them. But you can shame the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them and choose to look the other way."
On Wednesday, Amnesty International slammed Brunei's plans to implement what the rights group called "vicious" laws," which also apply to children. The new penalties take effect April 3.
"To legalize such cruel and inhuman penalties is appalling of itself," said Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Brunei researcher at Amnesty International. She said some of the potential offenses "should not even be deemed crimes at all, including consensual sex between adults of the same gender."
The nine hotels owned by Brunei are:
- The Dorchester, London
- 45 Park Lane, London
- Coworth Park, UK
- The Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills
- Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles
- Le Meurice, Paris
- Hotel Plaza Athenee, Paris
- Hotel Eden, Rome
- Hotel Principe di Savoia, Milan