Myanmar's president signs off on law seen as targeting Muslims

By REUTERS
August 31, 2015 14:42

NAYPYIDAW - Myanmar's president on Monday signed into law the last of four controversial bills championed by radical Buddhists but decried by rights groups as aimed at discriminating against the country's Muslim minority.

Myanmar, which will hold its first democratic national poll in more than two decades on Nov. 8, has seen a flowering of anti-Muslim hate speech since the military gave up full power and opened up politics and the economy in 2011.

President Thein Sein signed the Monogamy Bill after it was passed by parliament on August 21, Zaw Htay, a senior official at the president's office, told Reuters. The law was briefly sent back to parliament for review before being signed.

The bill sets punishments for people who have more than one spouse or live with an unmarried partner other than the spouse.

The government denies it is aimed at Muslims, estimated to make up about 5 percent of the population, and some of whom practice polygamy.



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