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Friday, May 23, 2014 

Congress wants US to stop trade with Brunei because of sharia impositions

Some lawmakers in Congress are being realists:
A group of lawmakers wants the United States to press Brunei to revoke Islamic criminal laws that they say jeopardize human rights under threat of being kicked out of Pacific free trade talks.

Brunei is phasing in Islamic laws that will impose fines or jail terms for offenses such as pregnancy outside marriage and failure to perform Friday prayers in the East Asian nation. The sharia laws will ultimately punish sodomy and adultery with the death penalty, including by stoning. [...]

Democratic Representative Mark Pocan of Wisconsin is circulating a draft letter on Capitol Hill that his office says 20 other lawmakers have pledged to sign, mainly other House Democrats. The letter will be open for signatures until mid-June.

"The United States must make it clear that we will not tolerate such abuses," says the draft, which was seen by Reuters. It is addressed to Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and says the United States should use its position as the world's largest economy to push against discrimination and abuses.

"(We) urge you to insist that Brunei address these human rights violations as a condition of the United States participating with them in any further Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations," the draft letter said.
Brunei will only address them if the Obama administration presses them to. For now, it's flattering that some Democrats actually care, presumably because there's Hollywooders who do.

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