Deutsche Bank drops Brunei's Dorchester hotels over anti-gay law

Hotel Eden, which belongs to luxury hotel operator Dorchester Collection, owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, in Rome. Deutsche Bank said it had removed Dorchester Collection group from the list of hotels its employees use.
Hotel Eden, which belongs to luxury hotel operator Dorchester Collection, owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, in Rome. Deutsche Bank said it had removed Dorchester Collection group from the list of hotels its employees use.PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN (AFP) - Deutsche Bank said Thursday (April 4) it had removed Brunei-owned Dorchester Collection group from the list of hotels its employees use, after the Asian nation adopted the syariah law, including the death penalty for gay sex.

"The new laws introduced by Brunei breach the most basic human rights, and we believe it is our duty as a firm to take action against them," said Mr Stuart Lewis, the bank's chief risk officer.

Dorchester Collection hotel group is owned by Brunei's state-owned investment agency.

Deutsche Bank counts among the co-founders of the Partnership for Global LGBTIQ Equality consortium to promote greater inclusion for LGBTIQ in busines.

The tough syariah penal code in the tiny country on tropical Borneo island - ruled by the all-powerful Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah - came into force Wednesday following years of delays.

The laws, including death by stoning for adultery and gay sex, make Brunei the first place in East or Southeast Asia to have a syariah penal code at a national level, joining several mostly Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia.

The decision to push ahead with the punishments has sparked alarm around the world, with actor George Clooney and pop star Elton John calling for Brunei-owned hotels to be boycotted.
BBC reported on Friday that the social media accounts of nine Brunei-owned hotels in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Italy have become inaccessible.

The Facebook pages of the hotels were inaccessible, while the Twitter acounts of eight of the hotels were either deleted or deactivated.

On Instagram, six of the hotels' accounts have been either deleted or deactivated, while the remaining three were switched to "private". 

 

The Australian arm of Richard Branson's Virgin Airlines has also cancelled a staff travel agreement with Brunei's national carrier over the Asian state's decision.