Strict interpretation of Sharia law will make homosexual intercourse and adultery in Brunei punishable by stoning to death.

The new law, that had been on hold for four years, was reaffirmed on March 27 and is set to be implemented on April 3, The Jakarta Post reported. Homosexuality, which was already outlawed in Brunei, is now set to be a capital offence applicable only to Muslim citizens.

New penalties for the crime of theft have also been set, with the amputation of the right hand as the punishment for the first offence, and the left foot for a second offence.

The new punishments have been heavily criticized by human rights groups, with Amnesty International urging the Sultanate to immediately stop the introduction of the new laws.

Rachel Chhoa-Howard, a researcher in Brunei said the penalties are cruel and appalling, and that some of the said offences should not be seen as crimes at all.

The Brunei government first announced the new legislation in 2013, but had delayed implementing the laws as officials needed to work out the practicality of the legislation in the face of human rights groups fighting their introduction.

A spokesperson for the Brunei religious affairs ministry said the theft penalty is the only penalty ready to be enforced as of now.

Humans rights activists said the country will drive investors and tourists away if the law moves forward. The new law will make Brunei the only country in Southeast Asia to punish homosexual intercourse with the death penalty.