Source: News Bharati English05 Oct 2016 15:31:36
Naypyidaw, Oct 5: Myanmar Parliament has repealed the laws used by the military junta for decades to silence the political opponents and activists.
The Emergency Provisions Act was okayed in 1950, shortly after Myanmar became independent from the British Rule.
According to this law ‘traitors’ and ‘army saboteurs’ could be sentenced to life imprisonment or death besides penalties of up to seven years in prison for other crimes as ‘offending’ the state.
With the Emergency Provisions Act, the authorities could arrest anyone without a warrant. Since coming to power at the beginning of April, the League for Democracy (NLD) led by Aung San Suu Kyi has tried to erase the law. Many MPs elected last November in the party were imprisoned in the past many years, thanks to the measure.
Tun Tun Hein, chairman of the committee that was responsible for the legislation, states: "This law has been used by the socialist dictatorship to arrest anyone who went against it. Now we have abolished it because we have a government of the people. "
Since the came to NLD power, freedom of expression has increased in Myanmar and hundreds of political prisoners were released. Foreign Minister and Prime Minister Aung Sang Suu Kyi has called their release"a priority".
Despite this, some activists say that the state continues to take advantage of some repressive laws to silence critics of the government. Last September, for example, a man was sentenced to nine months in prison for having called President Htin Kyaw an "idiot" and "crazy" in a post online. In August, an actor received a three-year sentence for writing insults referring to the army on his car.