As documented by the CIVICUS Monitor previously, proposed amendments to the Peaceful Assembly and Procession Law introduced in February 2018, would restrict people’s freedom of expression further, sparking concerns that they could be exploited to stifle political dissent. The bill was passed by the House of Nationalities (Upper House) on 7th March 2018 and has been sent to the House of Representatives (Lower House).
In July 2018, the NGO Progressive Voice issued a report entitled “Time to Hear Our Voices: Freedom of Assembly and Youth Peace Movement in Myanmar” highlighting shortcomings of the Peaceful Assembly and Procession Law. The briefing paper shows that the law continues to be used to arbitrarily charge and arrest peaceful protesters while retaining the assumption that assemblies are to be tightly controlled and minimised rather than facilitated and protected.
The report also examined the additional discrimination and harassment faced by female human rights defenders and activists. Many of the organisers of the recent protests in Myitkyina and Yangon were young women who experienced discrimination and harassment including from the police when they submitted the required notification through when they were arrested and charged; from ultra-nationalists and on social media; and at times from their colleagues within civil society.
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