Myanmar parliament votes down motion on death penalty for rape of minors
YANGON, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar's House of Representatives (Lower House) has voted down a motion on death penalty for rape of minors, the official Global New Light of Myanmar reported Tuesday.
The motion, tabled by a parliament member, called on the government to enact an effective special law to prevent the rape of minors and to include the death penalty in the law.
Noting that Myanmar is a member country of the United Nations and had pledged to uphold human rights and basic freedom, lawmaker Daw Myint Myint Soe said in a debate in the House Monday that Myanmar had also unconditionally accepted the fact that no crime should have the death penalty as agreed by many member countries of the UN and furthermore there is no evidence to show that the death penalty deters or reduces crime.
She pointed out that the biggest weakness of the death penalty is that there is absolutely no chance for the person accused of the crime to take a legal recourse.
"Death penalty is contrary to a democratic system, establishment of peace and the rule of law which our country is undertaking as preliminary step," she added.
Other MPs said taking a life is not related directly to reducing or eliminating this crime, urging to adopt other methods so that people in the society live according to ethics.
A government official recalled that there is a death penalty in law in Myanmar but it is no longer imposed.
Meanwhile, the government is drawing up a bill for a special law on children's rights and a bill for a law on preventing violence against women which are being submitted for consideration.
The official concluded that these two bills are what the motion is proposing, saying that if the MPs work on these two bills, appropriate action would have been taken.
The House took the decision on the motion through voting with 141 in favor and 227 against. The motion was announced to be kept on record.