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HRW: Myanmar parliament should amend proposed public assembly law

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Friday urged [official report] the Myanmar Parliament to reconsider a proposed law that they say has the potential to limit free expression and peaceful assembly. HRW acknowledged that the proposed law would replace a more restrictive law that had previously imprisoned activists, but said that the statute under consideration still contains shortcomings that could be overcome by consultation with legal experts, bringing the law within international standards of speech and assembly. According to HRW Asia Director Brad Adams, "[t]he government needs legal reforms that don’t just weaken the tools of repression, but removes them entirely."

Myanmar [BBC profile] replaced its decades-old military rule with ongoing democratic reform since 2011, following the military-government handing the reins over to a quasi-civilian government after successful civilian elections in 2010. Last month 69 political prisoners were released [JURIST report] who had been jailed for more than a year without trial. In March Amnesty International said [JURIST report] that Myanmar's new government has been presented with an historic opportunity to change the course of human rights. Also in March Myanmar released [JURIST report] 46 underage child recruits from the military as part of a UN joint action plan. In January the country began [JURIST report] the process of releasing the first set of 102 mostly political prisoners days before a democratic power transfer took place.

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