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US raises concerns over Brunei Sharia penal code

WASHINGTON -- The United States has raised concerns with Brunei about a new penal code introduced by the sultan that would include Islamic Sharia law penalties such as stoning to death, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

But the State Department is not following a growing boycott of a luxury hotel chain linked to all-powerful Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

“Our ambassador has relayed our concerns privately to the government of Brunei,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

But she said the department did not “take a position on” the boycott, which has seen a growing list of celebrities spurn the luxury Dorchester Collection.

“It's our understanding that the boycott specifically targets the Dorchester Collection of hotels which issued a statement that it does not tolerate any forms of discrimination of any kind,” Psaki said.

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