NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Brunei honour recommended for revocation at University of Aberdeen

Sultan Hassanal, 2013 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah received the honour in 1995

An honorary degree awarded by the University of Aberdeen to the Sultan of Brunei is now being recommended for revocation after his country made gay sex an offence punishable by death.

The strict new Islamic laws that came into force on Wednesday also cover a range of other crimes including punishment for theft by amputation.

The university initially said Hassanal Bolkiah's 1995 honour was under review.

It has now said it has been recommended the award be revoked.

A University of Aberdeen spokesman said: "The Honorary Degrees Committee has agreed that these strict anti-LGBT laws are totally counter to the university's founding principles and values of being 'inclusive and open to all' and have recommended that the award be revoked.

"Their recommendation now passes to our academic body (Senate) to consider, which we anticipate to happen next week."

Homosexuality was already illegal in Brunei and punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Image copyright University of Aberdeen

University of Aberdeen rector Maggie Chapman, co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party, had told BBC Scotland of the review on Wednesday: "We really, really have to take a stand on this, and stand in solidarity."

Brunei, a nation state on the island of Borneo, is ruled by Sultan Hassanal and has grown rich on oil and gas exports.

More on this story