August 19, 2016

Rights Group Calls to repeal acts in Ward or Village Tract Administration Law

Lawmakers attending a parliamentary meeting. Photo: MNA
Lawmakers attending a parliamentary meeting. Photo: MNA

Fortify Rights is urging the Myanmar lawmakers to repeal certain acts in The Ward or Village Tract Administration Law, that requires residents to submit overnight guest lists and allows authorities to raid the houses of citizens who do not obey the law.
“Guest registration and unwarranted searches have no place in a rights-respecting democracy,” said Matthew Smith, Executive Director of Fortify Rights in yesterday’s release.
“These provisions infringe on basic human rights, making Myanmar less secure. Parliament should repeal these provisions once and for all.”
The release also stated;
“The guest registration requirement of the 2012 Ward or Village Tract Administration Act and its enforcement by local government officials in Myanmar it violates fundamental rights and freedoms under international law, including the rights to privacy and freedom of movement, residency, and association.”
The last discussion regarding the 2012 law took place on 25 May with Col Hla Win Aung, Defense Services personnel and Hluttaw representative said that sections 13(g) and 17 should remain in the law to ensure “the rule of law, peace, tranquility and public safety.”
Yet, the parliamentary majority, National League for Democracy, CSO groups and yesterday’s press release disagree due to the laws history of stifling the privacy of Myanmar citizens and democratic movements.
Myanmar Parliament should repeal sections 13(g)-(h), 13(n), 17, and 33 of the Ward and Village Tract Administration Law of 2012, said Fortify Rights in it’s release.
“Sections 13(g)-(h) empower ward administrators to register guests coming into his or her ward or village tract, inspect guest lists… Section 13(n) grants vague and sweeping discretionary authority to ward and village tract administrators to conduct household inspections,
“Section 17 requires any resident to report to their respective ward or village tract administrator if someone from another ward or village intends to stay overnight. According to the law, the resident must also notify the administrator when the guest departs,” says Fortify Rights. —GNLM


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