No permit to protest required under new bill
THE revised Peaceful Assembly and Procession Bill proposed to the Amyotha Hluttaw yesterday will allow demonstrators to protest without seeking permission from the authorities.
The new bill, drawn up in accordance with the country’s blossoming multi-party democratic system, would revise the Peaceful Assembly and Procession Law, which was enacted under the previous government.
Under the revised law, a request to hold a protest or demonstration must be submitted to the appropriate police station at least 48 hours before the start of the event, said Dr Myat Nyana Soe, secretary of the Amyotha Hluttaw Bill Committee.
“It is only required to inform the police station in the designated township of the start of the demonstration, but copies of the letter of request are to be distributed to each police station in townships where demonstrators are set to pass through,” he added.
Under the previous law, protestors have to stand trial in court in the townships where they pass through for violations of rules and regulations.
The Bill Committee’s secretary said protestors are to be charged for violating the law in the court situated in the township where the event started, in accordance with the revised law.
The law has been revised based on the fundamental rights and duties of citizens stated in Article 347 the 2008 constitution, and charges and penalties are clearly mentioned in the revised law, he added.
“It is required to reveal what they want to do and what they will do. They have to act as they submitted, without breaching rules and regulations. Protestors will be given warnings first when they breach the prescribed rules. If they ignore police warnings, the leader of the demonstration will be charged, and peaceful measures will be taken for the dispersal of the peaceful assembly and procession in accordance with existing laws. Further actions will be taken against the demonstrators.”
According to the revised law, protest leaders are to be charged for violating of the points stated in their request letters to hold the demonstration within 15 days.
If the new bill is passed, the 2011 Peaceful Assembly and Procession Law (Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law 15) and revised 2014 Peaceful Assembly and Procession Law (Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law 26) will be revoked.