Myanmar repeals harsh law against dissidents

AP News
Posted: Jan 16, 2013 1:00 AM

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — State media in Myanmar say President Thein Sein has repealed a harsh law that had been used to hand down lengthy prison sentences for dissidents under the reign of the military government.

The Myanma Ahlin daily says the law was enacted in 1996 at a time when the military government was drawing guidelines for the country's constitution.

It carried a maximum 20-year prison term for those who wrote or delivered speeches that could undermine the nation's peace and stability.

Prominent activist lawyer Augn Thein said Wednesday that harsh laws had been used by authorities to support their judicial power.

Myanmar still has other severe laws against dissent, including one that put opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest. Some also carry death or life imprisonment.