Myanmar’s parliament mustreject or extensively revise a series of proposed laws that would entrench already widespread discrimination and risk fuelling further violence against religious minorities, Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said today.
A package of four lawsdescribed as aimed to “protect race and religion” – currently being debated in parliament – include provisions that are deeply discriminatory on religious and gender grounds. They would force people to seek government approval to convert to a different religion or adopt a new religion and impose a series ofdiscriminatory obligations on non-Buddhist men who marry Buddhist women.
“Myanmar’s Parliament must reject these grossly discriminatory laws which should never have been tabled in the first place. They play into harmful stereotypes about women and minorities, in particular Muslims, which are often propagated by extremist nationalist groups,” said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director.