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Statement by Equal Rights Coalition on the situation in Brunei

Ottawa, Ontario (Canada), 13 April 2019

The undersigned members of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) express profound dismay at the decision of Brunei to fully implement its revised Penal Code. As part of the full implementation which became effective on April 3, 2019, provisions have been introduced prescribing a range of penalties including amputation of limbs, whipping and stoning to death for specific acts identified as offences in the Code. The acts that are punishable by means of these penalties include robbery, rape, adultery and engaging in same-sex sexual conduct.

These extreme penalties raise serious concerns in light of Brunei’s international human rights obligations and commitments, including those relating to the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and the right to equal protection of the law without discrimination. They also have a detrimental impact on a number of vulnerable groups in Brunei, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons, women and children. The new provisions exacerbate the marginalization of persons belonging to these groups and increase the risk that they will be exposed to discrimination, persecution and violence, even if they are not prosecuted for having violated the Code. 

The ERC affirms that all people are entitled to respect for their human rights, without distinction. We urge the government of Brunei to repeal the new penalties, and to ensure that any measures that are introduced are consistent with Brunei’s international human rights obligations and commitments.

Co-signatories:

Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New-Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay

 

Statement by the Spokesperson of EEAS* on the implementation of the Penal Code Order in Brunei-Darussalam

Brussels, 3 April, 2019

The third stage of implementation of the 2013 Penal Code Order of Brunei-Darussalam entered into force on 3 April 2019. This is complemented by the 2018 Courts Criminal Procedure Code Order. Some of the punishments foreseen in the criminal code amount to torture, acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment which are prohibited by the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment which was signed by Brunei-Darussalam in 2015. They also go against the 2012 ASEAN Human Rights Declaration. These punishments may also breach Brunei's obligations as a party to the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

It is critical that the Government of Brunei-Darussalam ensures that the implementation of the Penal Code Order does not infringe on human rights and is fully consistent with all international and regional human rights commitments and obligations undertaken by Brunei-Darussalam.The European Union also expects Brunei-Darussalam to maintain its de facto moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

* European External Action Service

 

EU Local Statement on the death penalty case of Mr Micheal Anak Garing in Singapore

Singapore, 21 March 2019

The European Union Delegation to Singapore issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission and the Head of Mission of Norway.

The European Union (EU) calls on the Singapore authorities to halt the execution of Mr Micheal Anak Garing, to commute his sentence to a non-capital sentence and to adopt a moratorium on all executions.

Today, more than two thirds of the countries of the world have become abolitionist in law or practice which confirms a global trend towards abolition of the death penalty. The EU holds a principled position against the death penalty and is opposed to the use of capital punishment under any circumstances. No compelling evidence exists to show that the death penalty serves as a deterrent to crime more efficient than imprisonment. Furthermore, any errors - inevitable in any legal system - are irreversible. The EU will continue supporting the universal trend towards the eradication of the death penalty.

 

EU Local Statement on increase of judicial executions in Singapore in 2018

Singapore, 20 March 2019

The European Union Delegation to Singapore issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission and the Head of Mission of Norway.

The European Union (EU) takes note of the publication of the Singapore Prison Service's (SPS) annual statistics for 2018, and notes with concern the worrying increase in the number of judicial executions, which have risen from 8 in 2017 to 13 in 2018. The EU further notes that a majority of the cases (11) are related to drugs offences.

The EU calls on all retentionist countries, including Singapore, to adopt a moratorium on all executions. Today, more than two thirds of the countries of the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice which confirms a global trend.

The EU holds a principled position against the death penalty and is opposed to the use of capital punishment under any circumstances. No compelling evidence exists to show that the death penalty serves as a deterrent to crime more efficient than imprisonment. Furthermore, any errors - inevitable in any legal system - are irreversible.

The EU will continue supporting the universal trend towards the eradication of the death penalty.

 

Highlights of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement

Singapore, 25 January 2019

The following link provides a brochure, issued by the EU Commission and the Singapore Ministry of Trade & Industry, which highlights the benefits of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement signed in Brussels on 19 October, 2018: https://bit.ly/2DGny6L 

 

Belgian Company Redefines Agriculture to Boost Singapore’s Food Security

Singapore, 18 January 2019

Food security is high on Singapore’s agenda as more than 90% of the City-State’s food comes from imports. Constrained by a lack of space and an absence of natural resources, the nation looks to innovative technologies to secure a steady supply of safe, nutritious and affordable food.

Urban Crop Solutions, the Belgian one-stop-shop for turnkey and tailor-made solutions in the field of vertical indoor farming, paid a visit to Singapore on 15 and 16 January, 2019. Mr Maarten Vandecruys, CEO of Urban Crop Solutions, was one of the speakers at the “Indoor AG-Con Asia” symposium: a two-day conference about the technology of growing crops in indoor systems using hydroponic, aeroponic and aquaponic techniques.

At a networking event organised by the Embassy in cooperation with Flanders Investment & Trade, which took place at the Residence of H.E. Mr Andy Detaille, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium, company representatives got the opportunity to meet Singapore government agency representatives, as well as policymakers and local enterprises.

H.E. Mr Andy Detaille, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium in Singapore said: “Vertical farming is a perfect fit for Singapore where every inch of space counts and where almost all of the food is imported. Belgian companies, known for their innovative abilities, stand ready to help Singapore in securing a steady supply of safe, nutritious and affordable food in a sustainable manner.

Mr Ralph Moreau, Science & Technology Counsellor at Flanders Investment & Trade added:Flanders, Belgium has one of the highest rates of agricultural land use and productivity output. This is due to our expertise in optimalisation and intensification of agricultural processes. Automated, in-door, vertical farming is a perfect example on how to upscale agricultural production. Urban Crop Solutions is one of our prime technology companies active in this field, and we are proud to promote them, in Singapore, as their technology and expertise is very applicable here.

Mr Maarten Vandecruys, CEO of Urban Crop Solutions, concluded: “We are absolutely delighted to see that Singapore is interested in promising technologies and processes that can contribute in the near future to a better world. It’s a valuable recognition of the efforts that our team made and we want to keep improving to create the best indoor vertical farming solutions for our customers worldwide.”

About Urban Crop Solutions

Urban Crop Solutions is a one-stop-shop for turnkey and tailor-made solutions in the field of vertical indoor farming. Headquartered in Beveren-Leie and with offices in the US and Japan, the company is active in 22 countries. In 2016, the company set up the largest automated indoor vertical farming plant in Europe.

About Belgium

The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report of 2016-2017 ranks Belgium at the top for R&D, innovation and collaboration between industry, academia and government. Thanks to the high quality of its educational system and research facilities, the availability of skilled workers and attractive fiscal incentives for R&D ventures, Belgium is a strong performer in R&D and innovation. More than 300 Belgian companies are active in Singapore.

More information

www.focusonbelgium.be

www.facebook.com/BelgiumInSingapore/

http://singapore.diplomatie.belgium.be/en

https://urbancropsolutions.com/

www.facebook.com/urbancropsolutions

www.twitter.com/U_C_Solutions

bit.ly/UrbanCropSolutionsLinkedIn

bit.ly/UrbanCropSolutionsYouTube

 

Arnoud De Meyer, President of Singapore Management University, receives the Commander in the Order of Leopold distinction

12 November 2018

Today, H.E. Philippe De Backer, State Secretary for the Fight against Fraud, Privacy and the North Sea, Federal Government of Belgium,  bestowed on Prof. Arnoud De Meyer the Commander in the Order of Leopold,  a very important honorific distinction from H.M. King Philip of the Belgians created in 1832. This distinction is given to him not only for his impressive academic career first in Belgium, later in Cambridge and INSEAD and eventually, here, in Singapore but also for his continuous efforts in promoting the Belgian brand.

The decoration of the Order consists of a white enamel cross with a laurel and oak wreath between each of the four arms. The central part consist of an enamel shield surrounded by a red circle and two small gold circles, with on the front the coat of arms of the kingdom and its device in gold letters to the fore, and at the back the figure Leopold I consisting of two Ls and two Rs. On top of the whole we have a royal crown.

The award ceremony took place before a selected audience of 400 Singaporean officials and businessmen, diplomats and representatives of the Belgian community in Singapore during the King’s Day reception held at the Tower Club graced by the  presence of Senior Minister of State Maliki Osman, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Health & Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and Assoc.  Prof. Fatimah Lateef, Member of Parliament for Marine Parade Group Representational Constituency (GRC) and Mr Ang Wei Neng, Member of Parliament for Jurong GRC.

 

Ambassador of Belgium in Singapore hands over a S$ 9,000 cheque to Singapore Red Cross

7 August 2018

Today, the Ambassador of Belgium in Singapore, H. E. Andy Detaille handed over a cheque of S$ 9,000 to the Secretary General of the Singapore Red Cross Society, proceeds of the screening of the screening of the Belgium – Tunisia football game in the framework of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the Ambassador’s residence.

The crowd cheered enthusiastically at every goal the Red Devils scored. They were not disappointed as the Belgian Team won 5 - 2! Michel Sablon, Technical Director, Football Association of Singapore and former Technical Director Royal Belgian Football Association, set the scene and provided us with his half-time and post-match insights.

All proceeds of the evening were donated to the Singapore Red Cross Society. This donation was made possible thanks to the generous financial or in-kind contributions of following sponsors: Barco, IDS, Solvay, BICS, Pacific Beverages, Hiap Yick Tables & Chairs Renting, NTUC and the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Benjamin William, Secretary General of the Singapore Red Cross Society: "We are most grateful to the Ambassador of Belgium and the Belgium Embassy for initiating this exciting fundraiser for Singapore Red Cross. Our humanitarian services uplift vulnerable persons in Singapore, and they include the severely disabled, isolated seniors and skipped generation families. It was ingenious to twin the soccer match screening with meaningful giving. We appreciate H.E. Andy Detaille’s passion for our lifesaving mission, and thank all donors and sponsors for their generosity.”

 
Visa application for Belgium by travelers who officially reside in Brunei Darussalam

02 June 2014

With effective from 1st June, 2014, all travelers who officially reside in Brunei Darussalam and wish to visit Belgium or Luxembourg can submit their Schengen visa application at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in Singapore.