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The penalties by whipping and execution in Brunei

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                On 19 January, 2011 during 9.30 – 11.00 am, Mr. Thawat Sumitmor, Charge d’ affaires of the Royal Thai Embassy at Bandar Seri Begawan, together with Mr. Abdulwaris Bilungload, an official/ political and economic assistant, and Ms. Sriluk Parson, an interpretor of the Royal Thai Embassy visited Haji Jusni bin Haji Abd Latiff, Director of Department of Corrections at Jerudong prison. In this regard, the group was greeted by senior officials/ administrators of the prison. 
      At present, there are 5 Thai male inmates at the prison (1 capital punishment, 1 life sentence, 2 short-term punishments, and 1 waiting for the trial at court). Actually, there were some female inmates but they had been released from the prison and assisted by the relevant officials. Regarding the visit, every prisoner was treated well and happy as well as well-behaved. However, there are some communication problems because the prisoners often could not be able to speak English or Malay languages, consequently, the prisoners will write the document in Thai which will be submitted by the prison to the Royal Embassy of Thailand as an translation assistance. In general, there is weekly activity held for comforting the prisoners such as exercise outside the cells, advisory services, and physical checkups. Moreover, cousins are allowed to see the prisoners at every 6 weeks and also there is a monthly visit by the Royal Embassy of Thailand. 
            The Royal Thai Embassy and Office of Labour Affairs continuously reported the provisions of law and the caution of living in Brunei to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and MOL as basic knowledge for Thai workers before entering into Brunei which would help to prevent the problem at the point of origin and protect Thai workers at overseas.
             Brunei is a nation that practices strong Islamic faith, and the country has harsh penalties, in particular whipping and execution by hanging (No execution by hanging since 1996). Regarding the amount of whipping, not to exceeding 24 strokes which is dependent on the severity of the crime, for example in case of rape, the offender will receive a maximum of 24 strokes of the cane on any one occasion ( the offender will have an interval of 15 second after each stroke). Considering of the whip wounds, there were a lined bruises, cut wounds caused by whipping and after 1 month the wound will turn to be inflamed. Moreover, most of offenders will have fever and acute pain; therefore, it can be assumed that this contributes to the serenity in Brunei society and less crimes as well as violent crimes.
             Office of Labour Affairs and the Royal Thai Embassy would like to caution Thai workers and citizen living in Brunei to recognize the provisions of law in what they should and should not do as well as keeping away from breaking good morals and contacting with panderers. For further counseling and information, please contact Office of Labour Affairs in Brunei, the Royal Thai Embassy located on Tutong rd, Bandar, Tel No. 265-3108-9 and 265-3517.