File - General view of the Jame'asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque during a mass prayer session in Bandar Seri Begawan, in this March 13, 2014. (REUTERS/Ahim Rani)
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The sultan of oil-rich Brunei announced that tough Islamic criminal punishments would be introduced Thursday, pushing ahead with plans that have sparked rare domestic criticism of the fabulously wealthy ruler and international condemnation.Plans for the Shariah penalties – which will eventually include flogging, severing of limbs and death by stoning – triggered condemnation on social media sites in the tiny, sleepy sultanate earlier this year.About 15 percent of Brunei's people are non-Muslim ethnic Chinese.
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