NEW YORK, March 15 (UPI) -- A law on the right to peaceful assembly in Myanmar falls well short of international expectations, Human Rights Watch stated.
Authorities in Myanmar announced last month they had lifted some restrictions on political rallies after the opposition National League for Democracy complained.
The government has been praised for opening its political system after years of military rule, though concerns remain.
Human Rights Watch said a measure signed into law on the right to peaceful assembly should be repealed by the country's Parliament.
"There is a lot of excitement about changes in (Myanmar) these days, but the government shouldn't be given credit for allowing some freedom just because none existed before," Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement from New York.
Demonstrators in Myanmar need to get permission from local authorities five days ahead of a planned protest. Permits can be denied if the application is deemed "contrary to union security." Permission is needed for a gathering of more than one person.
"(Myanmar's) government will deserve kudos for legal reform only when people are allowed to exercise their basic rights," said Adams.
Myanmar has elections April 1 to fill 48 seats in the country's Senate and lower house of Parliament.
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