A ONE-man protest has criticised Oxford University over its stance on Brunei's repressive anti-homosexual laws.

Essex-based Nadeem Akram is unimpressed by what he sees as interference in the small Southeast Asian nation, which recently passed a law making gay sex and adultery capital offences - punishable by stoning.

Stressing that he had 'no connection' with Brunei and 'had not been paid to demonstrate', Mr Akram explained: "Every story has two sides.

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"Brunei can make any law they feel like - they are an independent sovereign nation. No country has any right to interfere in other countries' domestic affairs."

Absolute monarch Hassanal Bolkiah was awarded the honorary law degree in 1993 - a decision which recently came under scrutiny following international outrage against the new laws.

The Islamic Sultan returned the degree in May, after Oxford moved to 'review' its decision to award the title.

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Mr Akram, 53, wore a 'boycott University of Oxford' tee shirt to highlight his annoyance. He also stressed how safe Brunei is, and the number of British troops and expatriates based there.

Describing the Sultan as 'the most generous monarch in the world', the property consultant continued: "Certain people are trying to bully this small nation.

The Oxford Times:

"HM the Sultan said that the death penalty would not be enforced in the implementation of the sharia penal code order (SPCO). So because the whole reason [for the widespread condemnation] was the stoning to death, which now won’t happen, the universities were wrong."

Mr Akram also criticised Kings College London and Aberdeen University, as well as George Clooney and Sir Elton John, for their public opposition.

Calling for a boycott of the universities and Sir Elton's work, Mr Alkram added: "The overpaid heads of these universities are only listening to a handful of people to pressurize them into making ill-judged decisions."

He also called on Sir Elton's fans to "smash" their CDs and boycott his new film, Rocketman.

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University spokesman Stephen Rouse said a review had been opened 'in light of concerns about the new Penal Code'.

He added that Oxford had written to the Sultan on April 26, asking for his views by June 7, but he responded on May 6 to say he would return the degree.