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Govt Rejects Proposals to Amend Protest Law

16 January 2014

Burma’s Home Affairs Ministry objects to proposals to amend the controversial Peaceful Assembly Law, which critics say inhibits free expression by imposing harsh penalties on protestors who demonstrate without receiving government permission in advance. “The government is concerned that if the penalty for violating Article 18 is reduced, it would result in more demonstrations and they would be difficult to control,” local media Mizzima quoted the chairman of the Lower House of Parliament’s Judicial and Legal Affairs Committee as saying this week. The maximum penalty for violating the law’s Section 18 is one year in prison and a fine of up to 30,000 kyats (US$30).