An Aberdeen student group has welcomed their university’s decision to revoke an honorary degree from the Sultan of Brunei after a human rights row.
Aberdeen University last week withdrew the degree after the Sultan introduced laws that will see gay people and adulterers stoned to death and thieves lose their hands.
It follows a vote among 67 members of the university’s senate where 63 people voted to withdraw the degree, while three voted against and one abstained.
The university has an LGBTQ+ Student Forum, which organises social events and fundraises for various LGBTQ+ causes
The group has now called on others to follow the institution’s example.
The forum’s adviser Lise Bos said the issue came about after student activist Jacob Mair Campbell started a petition.
Lise said: “It gathered over 750 signatures from current students, alumni and staff over a few days.
“The anti-LGBTQ+ laws introduced in Brunei, and the brutality they legalise and encourage, are unacceptable.
“We are thankful for the support of the many allies who have publicly voiced their outrage.
“By revoking the Sultan’s honorary degree, the university has been shown to share our concerns, and to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in Brunei.
“We hope other organisations around the UK follow Aberdeen’s example, by denouncing Brunei’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws, both with words and by taking action.
“An earlier attempt to have the Sultan’s honorary degree revoked in 2014 was unsuccessful.”
An Aberdeen University spokesman said: “The university is not aware of any formal request to revoke the Sultan of Brunei’s honorary degree in 2014.
“This decision followed numerous requests from staff, students, alumni and beyond to revoke the degree, which the university’s senior management also deemed an appropriate course of action.
“This led to the matter being referred to our Honorary Degrees Committee and Senate’s decision to revoke the degree.”
In a letter to staff and students, the university’s principal and vice-chancellor George Boyne said: “While it is deeply regrettable to be in this position, which is unprecedented for the university, I fully support the decision.
“The university is proud of our foundational purpose of being open to all and dedicated to the pursuit of truth in the service of others.”