Lower house to discuss assembly law amendment


(File) Members of Parliament attend the second regular session of the the Pyithu Hluttaw (lower house parliament) in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, 07 March 2017. Photo: Hein Htet/EPA

Eighty representatives in Myanmar’s lower house of parliament have registered to discuss controversial proposed amendments to the country’s public assembly law, which rights groups oppose for their ambiguous language and further restrictions on peaceful demonstrations, RFA reported on 15 March.

The Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law allows public demonstrations only if organizers first obtain permission from local authorities, though it does not specify a time period. Those who violate the law are subject to three to six months in prison and a 30,000-kyat (U.S. $22) fine.

The proposed amendments include clauses mandating jail terms for those who encourage others to participate in protests that could endanger Myanmar’s “security” and “public morality,” a requirement that protest organizers inform local authorities 48 hours in advance of a demonstration, and a condition that organizers provide funding details and identify the individual or organization financing their activities.

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