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Richard Branson, other celebrities call for boycott of Brunei-owned Beverly Hills Hotel

By Daniel S Levine,

Virgin mogul Richard Branson became the latest celebrity to call for a boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel. The hotel is owned by a company run by Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who decided to introduce sharia law last week.

Bolkiah made the announcement on Wednesday, despite international criticism. Starting on Thursday, the country is now under the strict Islamic sharia laws, which includes harsh punishments for adultery, having a baby while not married and not attending Friday prayer services.

With that in mind, Sharon Osbourne, Ellen DeGeneres, Brian Atwood and others are calling for a boycott of the Beverly Hills Hilton. The hotel is owned by Dorchester Collection, which Bolkiah runs through the Brunei Investment Agency, reports The Hollywood Reporter. The company also owns the Hotel Bel-Air.

Branson tweeted, “No @Virgin employee, nor our family, will stay at Dorchester Hotels until the Sultan abides by basic human rights.”

Meanwhile, West Side Today reports that the Beverly Hills Council will vote on Tuesday to condemn the Brunei government after Beverly Hills mayor Lili Bosse called for a resolution. “The City’s actions are intended to contribute to the local and international outrage and help reverse policies and laws in Brunei that do not uphold international human rights,” the proposed resolution states.

A Beverly Hills Hotel spokesperson did tell THR that the Brunei government’s laws do not change how business is run at the hotel. “The laws that exist in other countries outside of where Dorchester Collection operates do not affect the policies that govern how we run our hotels,” the spokespoerson said.

 

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